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TUF 26 Finale post-fight bonuses: Modafferi-Montano draws FOTN honors

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Check out our breakdown of the post-fight bonuses from The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Montano vs. Modafferi in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Park Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to an action-packed night of fights, with three (T)KOs, four submissions and four decisions, including one split-decision and a draw.

The main event was changed at the last minute when Sijara Eubanks failed to make weight after apparently suffering from kidney issues while cutting weight for the contest. Roxanne Modaferri stepped in on short notice in a FOTN effort after previously being scheduled to compete in a three round fight elsewhere on the card.

Performances of the Night: Brett Johns and Gerald Meerschaert

Brett Johns made a name for himself tonight, becoming one of the very elite few to land a calf slicer submission in the UFC. The fight wasn’t even 20 seconds old when Joe Soto shot for, and got, a takedown. Johns, unperturbed, simply reached over, hooked Soto’s leg and rolled through. By the time Soto realized what was going on, it was too late. Johns had Soto’s leg trapped, shin digging into his calf, and the six-fight UFC vet was forced to tap at the 30 second mark of the very first round. The rare submission earned Brett Johns a $50,000 bonus and a hell of a story.

Gerald Meerschaert might be Bas Rutten’s new favorite fighter. After a back-and-forth first round, Meerschaert started to find his range against Eric Spicely early in the second. Meerschaert’s southpaw stance was causing all sorts of issues on the feet and Spicely couldn’t help but circle into his power.

Two minutes into the second round and Spicely moved exactly where Gerald wanted him and Meerschaert launched one of the cleanest kicks you’ll ever see, straight across Spicely’s body and into his liver. Spicely doubled over like he had been shot in the groin and the fight was over. Meerschaert earned $50,000 for his perfectly timed “leever shot”

Fight of the Night: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Nicco Montano

This fight had drama by the boatload. Roxanne Modaferri, one of the most beloved figures in the sport, came into the contest as the underdog. While Montano had been training for a five round fight, Roxanne hadn’t, and her opponent had youth on her side as well.

The crowd seemed to be hoping for a real Roxy Balboa moment and early in the second round, it looked like it might just happen. Modaferri stunned Montano with a swift right hand and immediately chased Nicco down with a flurry of blows against the cage. Montano weathered the storm, and the effort chasing the finish seemed to take the wind from Modaferri’s sails.

The rest of the fight was a combination of a chess match and a brawl, but Montano’s physical tools shone through, allowing her to win the majority of each round comfortably. Then, in the dying seconds of the very last round, it looked like Modaferri might pull it off after all, grabbing an armbar, rolling Montano onto her back, securing the arm and… having it slip through her grasp, agonizingly slowly. The pained look on Modaferri’s face said it all.

Both Nicco Montano and Roxanne Modaferri put it all on the line tonight, neither being satisfied with anything less than full effort for all 25 minutes. While Montano alone was awarded the inaugural 125 lbs women’s flyweight title, both fighters received a $50,000 fight of the night for their herculean efforts.

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