British middleweight Tom Watson walked away with $100,000 in post-fight bonus money on Saturday night, as “Kong” pocketed both “Fight of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” at UFC on Fuel TV 7.
UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao was awarded $50,000 for his “Submission of the Night”-winning performance in the evening’s headliner against Michael McDonald, and Stanislav Nedkov was handed the same sum for his losing effort against Watson. UFC on Fuel TV 7 took place at Wembley Arena in London and also featured an outstanding featherweight showdown between Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier.
Watson took control of his bout early by pinning Nedkov against the cage and peppering the Bulgarian with knees and elbows from the clinch. The former light heavyweight appeared to have no answer for the assault until he clipped “Kong” with a pair of clean shots that put the Brit on his back, where Watson was forced to fend off thunderous ground-and-pound for the round’s final minute. Undeterred, the former BAMMA champ picked up where he left off in round two, pressuring his rapidly fatiguing opponent with more punches, elbows and knees from close quarters until Nedkov finally crumbled at 2:42 of the second stanza.
Barao further cemented his place as the UFC’s best active bantamweight with his superb performance against the surging McDonald. Though the 22-year-old Californian hurt Barao in round one with a series of short right hands, the interim champion went to work over the next three frames, scoring from range while mixing up his strikes with takedown attempts. The finish came late in round four, when the Brazilian rode McDonald to the floor and locked up a tight arm-triangle choke to retain his title.