UFC Fight Night 59 was live from Boston last Sunday night (Jan. 18, 2015) with 12-scheduled bouts with 50% of them resulting in finishes. After the event concluded, the UFC awarded $50,000 bonus checks to four fighters for ‘Fight of the Night’ and ‘Performance of the Night’ Honors. Sean O’Connell and Matt Van Buren earn Fight of the Night honors for their battle on the feet on the UFC Fight Pass preliminary card for UFC Fight Night 59. It was an entertaining scrap that saw Van Buren get the better of O’Connell until his gas started to run low in the second frame, at which point O’Connell stepped it up and landed shots that hurt Van Buren. It was more of the same in the third round, and O’Connell finally scored the TKO stoppage, earning his first victory inside the Octagon. Other noteworthy fights: – Charles Rosa defeated Sean Soriano via third round D’Aarce choke submission to pick up his first UFC win. It was an entertaining fight that saw Soriano get the better of Rosa in the first round, but Rosa made a comeback in the second and third, finally wrapping things up with a D’Arce choke with only seconds remaining in the fight. – Joby Sanchez defeated Tateki Matsuda via split decision in the very first fight for the UFC Fight Night 59 fight card, and it was a solid way to kick off the prelims. The fight was closely contested for all three rounds, and with his opponent appearing to have suffered an ankle injury during the bout, Sanchez managed to get the better of some exchanges to squeak out the win. – Donald Cerrone defeated Benson Henderson via split decision in the co-main event of the evening to extend his current UFC winning to seven in a row. The decision was controversial, as nearly everybody scored the bout for Henderson, and while the fight itself did not live up to expectations, it was still a fairly entertaining scrap that saw Henderson land the most leg kicks in a three round fight in UFC history. Conor McGregor earns Performance of the Night honors for his second round TKO victory over Denis Siver in the main event of UFC Fight Night 59 in Irish-populated Boston. I do not agree with McGregor earning this bonus, because frankly, I think he was expected to finish Siver in more impressive fashion than a ground and pound from mount. As far as Conor McGregor finishes go, that’s been the least impressive. I believe Sean O’Connell’s TKO of Matt Van Buren and Johnny Case’s TKO of Frankie Perez were more deserving of the bonus. It would have been a huge $100,000 day for O’Connell if it went his way, since he also got ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. Case was definitely more deserving than McGregor, even though they both finished their fights in the exact same fashion; ground and pound from mount. However, Siver has been finished before, whereas that was the first time Perez has been finished in his professional mixed martial arts career, and he is not an easy fighter to put away. Lorenz Larkin earns Performance of the Night honors for his first round TKO of veteran John Howard, becoming the first fighter to defeat “Doomsday” with strikes. He looked incredibly impressive in his welterweight debut and I very much look forward to his next outing, as he gets set to make a run towards championship gold. Other noteworthy performances: – Johnny Case defeated promotional newcomer Frankie Perez via third round TKO to go 2-0 inside the Octagon. The Alliance MMA product looked solid in giving Perez the first T/KO defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career. – The aforementioned Sean O’Connell with his third round TKO of Matt Van Buren, as it was a very impressive comeback for the Californian, who finally earned his first UFC win. – Urijah Hall defeated Ron Stallings via first round TKO due to a cut. While the reason for the stoppage was unfortunate, Hall looked very impressive and fight fans look forward to his next outing, which will likely be against Consta Philipou.
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