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UFC Atlantic City bonuses: Branch scores early KO for extra $50K

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Check out our breakdown of the post-fight bonuses from UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey was home to a decent night of fights, with five (T)KOs, no submissions, technically, and six decisions.

There was drama heading into this card, with the UFC choosing not to extend Leslie Smith’s contract after her opponent missed weight, leading to the UFC union organizer suddenly not being under UFC contract, which is certainly a convenient and totally coincidental turn of events for the UFC…

Performances of the Night: Siyar Bahadurzada & David Branch

Siyar Bahadurzada destroyed Luan Chagas’ world tonight with one of the most deliberate finishes in the history of MMA. A lot of the first round took place on the ground where the Brazilian was more comfortable, but Bahadurzada still held his own and arguably won the round. The second round took place on the feet, and that’s Siyar’s realm.

Chagas disease is a tropical parasitic disease that, among other symptoms, can result in an enlarged and inflamed esophagus and gastrointestinal issues. Perhaps misunderstanding how disease names work, Bahadurzada decided to check for symptoms in Luan Chagas by launching a kick straight to the solar plexus. Chagas froze, then slo-o-o-o-wly toppled over. Dr. Siyar, concerned, checked on his patient by uppercutting his damn head off of his shoulders. Bahadurzada earned an extra $50k for his brutal violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

David Branch is known for grinding out decision victories over tough opponents, but tonight decided that even he was bored of his own fighting style and just straight up punched Thiago Santos right into another cognitive dimension with a hellacious right hand followed up by hammerfists of doom until the referee mercifully called an end to the fight. Branch got his fourth career UFC win, and a cool 50 Gs to go along with it.

Fight of the Night: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Ricky Simon

Ricky Simon somehow got the TKO win over Merab Dvalishvili after the fight was over. The bell rang to signal the end of the third round while Dvalishvili was caught in a choke. The referee decided that Merab wasn’t responsive after the bell, and as a result, ruled the fight a technical knockout win for Simon. Had the fight been allowed to go to the scorecards, Dvalishvili would have won a split-decision. Controversial stuff indeed.

The fight should likely have been ruled a technical submission, but that’s splitting hairs. The bout itself was competitive, fast-paced and some of the best action we saw tonight. The bizarre finish was the cherry on top of the cake, and the extra $50,000 in bonus cash given to both men will hopefully soften the blow of the victory slipping through Dvalishvili’s fingers.

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