It took all of 14 seconds for Bryan Battle to win his fight. In another five hours, he got a win that was just as significant.
In his post-event press conference, UFC president Dana White announced the winners of the Performance of the Night bonuses for UFC Fight Night on ABC in Charlotte on Saturday: The honors, and $50,000 checks, went to Jailton Almeida, Ian Garry and Carlos Ullberg, who won on the main card, and Matt Brown, who won the final prelim fight on ESPN.
When asked about Battle, who earned one of the fastest wins in UFC history (only 22 bouts in the 30 year history of the organization ended faster), in front of his hometown fans, White said, “Yeah, I mean the crowd behind him, he comes in, gets the knockout.” White then pause and said, “You know, it’s … you know, it’s ridiculous. We’ve got … I’m gonna give him $50,000 too.”
Just like that, Battle, who won The Ultimate Fighter reality show competition, earning a six-figure contract with the UFC, earned half that for just over a dozen seconds’ work.
“He’s gonna come find you and f**king hug you after this press conference,” White said to the media member who asked about Battle. “I’m giving him $50,000 too. So now we’re doing five (bonuses)tonight. I didn’t answer your question, but you just got him another 50 grand. So Congrats. Thanks. I’ll thank you for him.”
Battle leveled Gabe Green in the second fight of the night, earning a knockout victory in front of a crowd of 18,712 fans, most of whom were loudly in support of him.
The night was also a big victory for Charlotte, one of the first host cities in UFC history, who saw local fans turn out for the UFC’s fifth trip to the city.
“The gate was $2.09 million,” White reported. “A sell out. The highest attended Fight Night in domestic history.”
The fans were treated to plenty of action. Of the 11 fights, seven ended early by knockout or submission.
Almeida submitted heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the main event, tapping him with a rear-naked choke in 3:43 of the first round.
“This guy looks like a real killer in the heavyweight division,” White said. “This guy looks like he’s going to be a star.”
Garry earned his bonus wit ha first-round knockout by head kick of Daniel Rodriguez, ending the fight in 2:57. Ullberg knocked out Ukrainian light heavyweight Ihor Potiera at 2:09, and Brown knocked out Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee at 4:09 of the first round.
White was pleased with the aggression the bonus winners showed.
“When you think about tonight, whenever we get the opportunity to do prelims on ESPN, main card on ABC, I’m old school. ABC is Wide World of Sports. It was a big deal to me growing up, so it’s kind of special for me when we do these fights.”
Those performances stood in contrast to light heavyweight Johnny Walker, who won a unanimous decision over Anthony Smith in a lackluster co-main event.
“You look at guys like Walker, who really didn’t wow anybody,” White said. “He was put on the co-main event to kind of shine tonight. He got a W, so I guess that’s good.”
White was also critical of area referee Larry Carter, who covered some of the early fights, including a controversial bout between female flyweights Mandy Bohm and Kim Ji-yeon.
Kim dominated the action, but Carter took a point from her between rounds for a late hit and another point after the fight was over, for an illegal strike, allowing Bohm to earn a controversial decision win as the crowd booed.
Carter had only worked nine pro fights, according to one online MMA database, and his only previous UFC experience was two early bouts when the UFC came to Raleigh in 2020.
“This arena has been incredible,” White said. “Charlotte’s incredible. It’s a fun place, you know, but you have to understand, when we come to smaller markets like this, there aren’t a lot of fights here, and you know, these guys don’t have a lot of the experience that Vegas and some of these other places have.”
In other fights, Alex Morono submitted Tim Means in the second round on the main card.
Karl Williams won a unanimous decision over Chase Sherman, Douglas Silva de Andrade took a unanimous decision from Cody Stamann on the preliminary card, and Tainara Lisboa submitted Jessica-Rose Clark in the night’s first fight.