UFC Vegas 59 made history on Saturday night and, as such, will be talked about for quite a while. For just the second time in the history of the organization, fans saw a 100% finish rate, including three knockouts, three submissions, and four TKOs. Considering what was on the line for many of the evening’s fighters, it is no surprise that each bout brought the energy that it did.
Stacked with a lot of young talent, a number of the athletes are still looking to make a name for themself in the UFC. Then, consider that two of the fights on the main card were for the men’s and women’s titles for season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter. In the two headlining contests, two veterans were looking to hold onto their rankings, hoping to fend off hungry rising fighters. With so many of the bouts worthy of bonuses, the UFC had to set their criteria for distributing the Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night prizes. Check out who got paid a little extra at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill.
Performance of the Night: Bryan Battle, Geoff Neal, and Mohammed Usman
There’s having a fight stopped, and then there’s stopping the fight. Bryan Battle, Geoff Neal, and Mohammed Usman each put their opponent to sleep. They accounted for the only knockouts on the historic Saturday night. Battle was first up, finishing Takashi Sato with a head kick that was audible to the audience watching at home. Usman was next, fighting on the main card to become the season 30 champion of The Ultimate Fighter. Trailing on two of the scorecards after the first round, Usman caught Zac Pauga with a straight left hook that put the former NFL player to sleep.
Bringing up the rear was Neal in the third round of the co-headliner event. Raining shots on Vicente Luque, he connected on two direct left shots of his own, the second of which crumpled Luque to the mat for an immediate stoppage. For their stellar displays, Battle, Usman, and Neal each earned a $50,000 bonus for Performance of the Night.
Fight of the Night: Santos vs Hill
On a card full of stoppages, finding the Fight of the Night was surely no easy feat. Of course, a quality bout is one where the opponents are evenly matched, and of the contests, the main event between Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill was really the only real “fight” of the evening, going into the fourth round, and split on the officials’ cards.
In fact, Hill was trailing at the time when he staggered Santos in that fourth round, and, seeing his opening, wisely began teeing off. Referee Herb Dean gave Santos every chance to get back into the fight and find his offense, but the moment never came. The loss will sting for a while for Santos, who has lost four of his last five appearances since fighting Jon Jones for the title in 2019. Still, he showed he has gas in the tank, even at 38 years old, and hasn’t hinted at retirement. The $50,000 that both he and Hill have received for producing the Fight of the Night will help ease the pain too.
UFC Vegas 59 Main Card and Preliminaries Payouts*
Back in Las Vegas, the UFC still doesn’t share how much the fighters earn on their contract for yet another fight in the Octagon. Nonetheless, the promotional payouts are public knowledge, including those from the UFC’s partnership with Venum. Under the sponsorship program, fighters earn more money the longer they last in the UFC, starting at $4,000 per fight for their first three appearances, scaling up to $21,000 for non-title fights.
All but three fighters on Saturday’s card entered with fewer than 10 fights in the UFC. Fighting in the finale for The Ultimate Fighter, Usman, Pauga, Juliana Miller, and Brogan Walker got their first real taste of a UFC event, making their debuts and earning the $4,000 given at that level. Stephanie Egger, Miranda Granger, and Terrance McKinney each saw their bonuses rise $500 as they made their fourth fights. Sam Alvey and Santos were each the top earners from Venum at UFC Vegas 59, earning $21,000 for making their 23rd and 24th events respectively.
UFC Vegas 59 Payouts for Venum Sponsorship (based on number of fights in the UFC)
- $4,000 (1-3 fights): Cory McKenna (3), Bryan Battle (3), Erick Gonzalez (2), Brogan Walker (debut/TUF), Juliana Miller (debut/TUF), Mohammed Usman (debut/TUF), Zac Pauga (debut/TUF)
- $4,500 (4-5 fights): Stephanie Egger (4), Miranda Granger (4), Terrance McKinney (4)
- $6,000 (6-10 fights): Mayra Bueno Silva (7), Takashi Sato (6), Michal Oleksiejczuk (9), Augusto Sakai (8), Serghei Spivac (9), Geoff Neal (10), Jamahal Hill (7)
- $11,000 (11-15 fights): N/A
- $16,000 (16-20 fights): Vicente Luque (19)
- $21,000 (21+ fights): Sam Alvey (23), Thiago Santos (24)
UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Hill Results
- Jamahal Hill TKO’d Thiago Santos – Round 4
- Geoff Neal KO’d Vicente Luque – Round 3
- Mohammed Usman KO’d Zac Pauga – Round 2
- Juliana Miller TKO’d Brogan Walker – Round 3
- Serghei Spivac TKO’d Augusto Sakai – Round 2
- Terrance McKinney submitted Erick Gonzalez (rear-naked choke) – Round 1
- Michal Oleksiejczuk TKO’d Sam Alvey – Round 1
- Bryan Battle KO’d Takashi Sato – Round 1
- Cory McKenna submitted Miranda Granger (Von Flue choke) – Round 2
- Mayra Bueno-Silva submitted Stephanie Egger (armbar) – Round 1