The UFC awarded a surprising-but-deserved three “Fight of the Night” awards on Saturday to Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida, Chris Lytle and Kevin Burns, and Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz for their entertaining performaces at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, which took place at The Pearl in Las Vegas and aired live on Spike TV.
Sanchez edged Guida by split decision in the evening’s main event following a standup war that saw Sanchez nearly finish Guida early in the opening frame only to have The Carpenter fight his way back into the fight with ground and pound in the second and third rounds. Ultimately it was Sanchez’s multiple near finishes and cut-opening elbows from his back that earned him split decision victory.
Lytle and Burns also engaged in a standup brawl that saw Burns rock Lytle late in round one only to have Lytle survive to open up a deep gash that sent blood streaming early in the third. The cut may have been the deciding factor in the bout as Lytle was awarded the unanimous decision win.
Stevenson put his recent training with Greg Jackson on full display in a technical tussle with Diaz, as “Daddy” battered Diaz on the feet and was constantly applying pressure on the ground en route to unanimous decision victory.
All six “Fight of the Night” winners, along with Jason Dent who earned “Submission of the Night” and Tomasz Drwal who was awarded “Knockout of the Night”, received $25,000 bonuses.
[Pictured: Joe Stevenson]