Main event fighters Diego Sanchez and Joe Stevenson, along with Paulo Thiago and Demian Maia each earned $40,000 bonuses for their performances at “UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson.” The bonuses were announced by the UFC at the post-fight press conference.
The $40,000 payouts were down from January’s UFC 94 $65,000 bonuses, but are consistent with what the UFC paid out during their last trip to the UK for UFC 93.
In the night’s main event, Diego Sanchez’s first fight at lightweight turned into a slug fest with Joe Stevenson for the entire 15 minute fight. Sanchez mixed his strikes well as Stevenson stalked him throughout the match.
The concern over whether Sanchez would lose a step due to losing the 35 pounds to make 155, proved unfounded as he looked fresh and aggressive throughout the three round bout. Although Sanchez earned a unanimous decision victory, Stevenson showed enormous heart and gameness matching Diego’s energy in the lightweight showdown, earning both fighters “Fight of the Night” honors.
Paulo Thiago was a virtual unknown undefeated fighter coming into his Octagon debut against the surging and much improved Josh Koscheck. Koscheck dominated the stand up action early, peppering the Brazilian with combinations. Thiago stayed calm and countered a Koscheck punch with a brutal right uppercut followed by a left that crumpled Koscheck to the mat.
With Thiago raising his hands immediately, the referee rushed to Koscheck’s side and halted the bout. Koscheck repeatedly told the referee that the fight was stopped too soon. Despite his protests, the fight was over and Paulo Thiago stepped out of the Octagon with not only his first UFC victory, but also a cool $40,000 bonus for “Knockout of the Night.”
World class Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist Demian Maia continued his dominance over Team Quest fighters, dispatching Chael Sonnen with a beautiful throw, followed by a perfectly set up triangle choke from the top that was finished when Sonnen rolled to defend. Maia took one step closer to getting his shot at reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva while remaining undefeated in the UFC at 5-0. The slick submission earned Maia his fourth “Submission of the Night” bonus.