Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez put on an instant classic. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Four men walked away from UFC 166 with post-fight bonuses, as Gilbert Melendez, Diego Sanchez, John Dodson and Tony Ferguson each pocketed an extra $60,000.
Melendez and Sanchez shared “Fight of the Night” honors following their wild lightweight contest, while Dodson and Ferguson were awarded “Knockout of the Night” and “Submission of the Night,” respectively.
UFC 166 was headlined by a heavyweight title rubber match between champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, and it took place at the Toyota Center in Houston. Velasquez retained his title to close out the pay-per-view broadcast, stopping “Cigano” in the fifth round of their bloody third encounter.
Though Melendez took control of the first two rounds against Sanchez, “The Dream” would not go down quietly. Sanchez mounted one of his trademark rallies in the third stanza and floored “El Nino” with a solid uppercut. In the end, however, it would prove insufficient to sway the judges, who ruled Melendez the victor in a unanimous decision.
Dodson wasted no time in finding his range against Octagon debutant Darrell Montague, as the former UFC flyweight title contender lit up “The Mongoose” with a sharp series of left hands in the first frame, the last of which caused Montague to fall face-first to the canvas in defeat.
Like “The Magician,” Ferguson also got off to a quick start in his lightweight showdown with Mike Rio, hurting the “TUF 15” alum with punches before stuffing a takedown attempt and cinching up a fight-ending brabo choke at 1:52 of round one.