Of course, the diehard fans know there is much more to it. Often, the early prelims – featuring fighters swinging for the fences who know this may be their only chance to make a name for themselves – are just as good of a show as the high-profile fights highlighting the main card. But aside from some of the narratives that draw fans to tune in to the card’s later fights, there’s one statistic that holds no biases: performance bonuses.
UFC Brasilia, the Octagon’s most recent event, was a prime example. How many fans knew before the event that one-half of its main event is ranked second all-time in UFC performance bonuses?
That’s right, Charles Oliveira, a 10-year UFC veteran at 30 years old who has yet to fight for a title, has more bonuses (16, Donald Cerrone has 18) than Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and all the other UFC superstars.
Guess how UFC Brasilia concluded? Another Oliveira finish (his seventh in a row) and another performance bonus. If a must-watch label were ever to be used, it should be on scenarios like that.
So, the next time you’re eyeing a fight card for some can’t-miss matchups, look at the fighter’s history of bonuses. In the meantime, here are some interesting facts on the history of the awards.