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UFC 143 Bonuses: Werdum, Nelson, Poirier, Thompson Win Awards

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fabricio Werdum, Roy Nelson, Dustin Poirier and Stephen Thompson won post-fight bonuses for their outstanding performances Saturday at UFC 143 in Las Vegas.

Each award winner took home an extra $65,000 in addition to their respective fight purse.

In the heavyweight featured bout declared by the UFC as the Fight of the Night, the two-time ADCC grappling champion Werdum displayed improved standup, battering TUF 10 winner Nelson through three rounds for the unanimous decision on scores of 30-27 across the board. Werdum bloodied Nelson's face most notably with a barrage of knees from the Muay Thai clinch.

Werdum, who was making his UFC return, has now won four of his last five fights.

More Coverage: UFC 143 Results
Walkout Shirts: Nick Diaz | Carlos Condit | Roy Nelson

Poirier's mounted triangle-armbar beat out Ed Herman's rear-naked choke for Submission of the Night. Poirier slapped on an armbar off his back, transitioned to a triangle choke and then held the hold in mount position. From there, Poirier straightened Max Holloway's arm for the tap out at three minutes and 23 seconds of the first round. Herman was the only other fighter on the card with a submission victory.

With a perfect 56-0 kickboxing background, there was quite a bit of hype for Thompson as he headed towards his UFC debut against Dan Stittgen. Thompson lived up to the hype with a karate-style head kick knockout at four minutes and 13 seconds.

According to the UFC, 10,040 attended the event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for a gate of $2.3 million.