(Photo courtesy of UFC.com)Who Will Win the $600,000 UFC “Fight Night” Bonuses? Christian Larusson July 5, 2016 Events, News, Spotlight, UFC The biggest weekend in combat sports so far in 2016 is nearing, and as always, UFC will be giving out $50,000 in Performance Bonuses (1x ‘Fight of the Night’ & 2x ‘Performance of the Night’ each event) at the post-fight press conference. Now, knowing this, we know that UFC is planning on giving out $600,000 throughout the highly-anticipated weekend and up to twelve people can get some of that, so let’s put our thinking hats on, and try to figure out who might come up as a Performance winner after the most anticipated weekend of 2016. UFC FIGHT NIGHT 90, JULY. 7 Fight of the Night Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez – This here will answer the question, who has the most narly pressure to bully their opponent around? RDA’s nightmarish tempo he puts on people lately has been very exciting to witness, however, Alvarez can keep an high intensity fight if need be himself, but will it overcome and defeat, what seems to be, an unstoppable force that is the lightweight champion? No clue, but it feels like two trains heading right for each other, and I for one can’t wait. Performance of the Night Derrick Lewis, “The Beast” doesn’t normally win without leaving someone unconscious from his heavy-hitting hands, and a declining Roy Nelson, who depend almost solely on his thunderous right hand and iron chin might be coming up short in this fight. Lewis is on a tare, and at only 31-years-old he is a veteran and a prospect in a division where the average age for the elite of the division is around 35. Joseph Duffy is coming of his first loss in his UFC career, against ‘The Diamond’ Dustin Poirier, but before the decision loss, Duffy was having remarkable success in the Octagon, showcasing mostly his fantastic boxing and head-movement. A stoppage is very possible for Duffy if he keeps the fight on the feet, regardless of Duffy’s own success with submissions, Mitch Clark’s only path to victory in this fight, in my opinion, is through the way of grappling, and if Duffy takes that out of the equation with his own strong ground game, he could and should be able to let those hands do the knock out dance. THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER JULY. 8 Fight of the Night Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha – Will there be a new strawweight champion? Gadelha has looked very confident in the TUF house as a coach, unaffected by the champions ‘bully’-tactics, or is it possible that she puts a fantastic game face on since Joanna won their first outing by a very close split decision. Does the champ still have the mental edge here, which is a very good advantage to have as we have seen in many contest before. Having your opponent ‘over-respect’ your abilities, especially if you have defeated them before, creates doubt in most people, but that’s not the feeling I get from Gadelha, but this fight is five rounds. And longer this fight goes, Joanna chances of success with her ‘bad intention’- Muay Thai striking increases. Will Gadelha overcome and become, the first Brazilian female champion in UFC, or will the first Polish champion remain? A lot of ifs and buts, but after Friday – we will find out what’s what. Performance of the Night Doo Ho Choi, who is facing Thiago Tavares, has had an impressive showing since joining UFC, however his inactivity has made people perhaps forget about him. That will change after this fight, even though Tavares has a lot of momentum coming into this fight with three straight performance bonuses in a row, I believe Doo Ho Choi will starch him early, then finish it up with strikes on the ground. Reminding the MMA fans out there with goldfish memory, this featherweight prospect is here to stay and be remembered. Jake Matthews* – Impressive prospect, with respectable 4-1 UFC record, the new era of well rounded youth is always nice to see for the future of MMA. Although facing another prospect in Kevin Lee, Matthews should be able to cancel or keep Lee’s submission-game at bay and keep this on the feet, where he could take him out on the feet, where Lee lost most recently. *If title challenger Gadelha wins by KO/TKO in the main event, I believe she also takes the ‘Performance bonus’ as well as ‘Fight of the Night’. UFC 200 JULY. 9 Fight of the Night Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes – Look, any title fight on this card could possibly trump the rest if it shows to be an exciting fight, but who always brings a barnburner of a fight if competitive? Miesha Tate, every time. Her winning lioness roar always gives me goosebumps, witnessing the happiness and passion afterwards is always a treat. Nunes though, not here to play around or become someone’s breakfast. Her only loss came from the same fighter who beat Miesha Tate back in 2013, Cat Zingano. Even though MMA math isn’t always (or hardly ever) something to put all your trust in when trying to foresee the result of a bout, nevermind a bonus award. With that being said, this is a sleeper for Fight of the Night, on a evening where potentially FOTN could occur anywhere and everywhere on the card. Performance of the Night Jon Jones possibly uniting the interim- and championship belts, after having his title taken away by not excelling outside the cage as he has done inside of one. If Jones succeed on his mission to reclaim glory, perhaps even showing us the Jones of old, I am confident a Performance check will be sent his way. Brock Lesnar – Oh yeah, I said it. Before you start shaking your head in disgust at my suggestion, I would like to say – I understand, I felt the same as you only days ago. But after watching Firas Zahabi “Pre-Fight Analysis” video where he gives Mark Hunt a 20% chance of surviving the takedown of Brock and ending it on the feet, the fashion we are most used of seeing the Super Samoan collect his victories and performance bonuses. BUT, what if he can’t get up like Firas Zahabi says? That would equal a 265 lbs of heavy muscles with great wrestling credentials to go along with that is now in top control, where Hunt can’t get up. And if you don’t remember anything from the first time Brock was occupying the Octagon, his ground and pound is like a short visit to hell during a thunderstorm, nobody survives it.