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UFC Fight Night 96 bonus report: Moreno, Marquardt, Blaydes & Da Silva collect checks

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No Fight of the Night bonus was given out last night in Portland following UFC Fight Night 96. Instead, the UFC brass decided to reward 4 fighters who were able to finish their opponents in impressive fashion. Here’s a quick look at the four men who went home $50K richer and the finishes that earned them Performance of the Night honors.

Curtis Blaydes: They call him Curtis “Razor” Blaydes for a reason. The 6’4″ heavyweight out of Nowhere, Oklahoma made good on his UFC sophomore effort last night by elbowing the living hell out of Dana White ‘Looking for a Fight’ product, Cody East.

With two consecutive losses and a rap sheet that includes rape and child abuse, we’d be hard pressed to say that East didn’t have it coming. How he ever got a UFC contract is beyond us. If he’s given another fight after losing his first two UFC fights via TKO, it would be a miracle. Do us all a favor and enjoy the handiwork of Mr. Blaydes below:

Nate Marquardt: When I first saw Nate Marquardt and Tamdan McCrory slated to headline the UFC Fight Pass portion of this card I was amazed. This fight easily could’ve fit in anywhere on the main card from headliner to opening fight. This just shows us how important Fight Pass is to the UFC.

After 6 years away from the Octagon, McCrory won via triangle choke in his first fight back which created a huge buzz in the MMA community. After losing via KO to Krzysztof Jotko six months later, McCrory was given an opportunity to get back on track in the middleweight division against a savvy vet in Nate Marquardt.

After taking the first round on the strength of a few submission attempts off his back, McCrory didn’t exactly light the world on fire in the 2nd round. Just as the crowd started to get uneasy, Marquardt was able to land a over hand right followed by a head kick that would put him on rollerskates of the wobbly variety.

This victory earned Marquardt the 35th win of his pro MMA career, the 13th win of his UFC career and the 27th finish of his MMA career. Let us not forget that this is the only man to ever finish current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

At 37-years-old, even with a record of 4-6 over his last 10 fights, you still cannot count Marquardt out if he can string a couple more wins together.

Luis Henrique da Silva: Da Silva extended his undefeated streak to 12 by finishing Joachim Christensen in the Copenhagen natives’ UFC debut. All 12 of Da Silva’s wins have come by way of finish, this particular one came via an armbar out of nowhere in the closing moments of the 2nd round, proving to us that this man is one of those “don’t blink” competitors that can finish a fight at any given moment. Here’s to his 3rd UFC bout being against a top 15 opponent.

Brandon Moreno: Talk about a feel good moment. The biggest underdog on the card finishes the 9th ranked man in the flyweight division in the very 1st round via submission.

Moreno reminded us that there are no sure things in this sport. Smolka did not respect the ground game of the UFC debutant and he paid for it dearly. By tapping the young Hawaiian with a nasty guillotine (that still hasn’t even earned him his own Wikipedia page) Moreno takes Smolka’s four-fight win streak and his soul, temporarily, to likely earn himself a spot in the UFC top 10 flyweight rankings upon their next update.

Moments like these are why every single UFC event is must see TV. We love Moreno’s passion and we challenge anyone to find a better moment on this card than “The Assassin Baby” out of Mexico’s surprise victory and his authentic reaction that followed.

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