It appeared that most of the UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields post-fight bonuses would be relatively easy to assign on Wednesday night in Barueri, Brazil, and they mostly were, save for one.
UFC officials announced the bonuses shortly after the event.
Although Rousimar Palhares scored the night's only submission with his 31-second heel hook finish of Mike Pierce, he was not awarded the $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus pending an investigation by the Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA) for an “unsportsmanlike finish.”
The controversy stems from the referee calling an end to the fight when Pierce tapped, but Palhares failed to release the hold when directed to do so.
“The commission is investigating the length of time that (Palhares) held the submission,” said UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik, when explaining why the promotion had decided to withhold the bonus.
“Dana reacted very strongly to it and the commission reacted very strongly to it,” he added.
Regardless of the commission’s findings in the matter, Zelaznik said that, contractually, the UFC has the authority to not only deny Palhares the post-fight bonus, but take further action against him if they deem it warranted. He did not indicate what that further action might entail, though it could include releasing Palhares from his contract.
The Fight of the Night was awarded to the main card openers, Raphael Assuncao and T.J. Dillashaw. The two fought a back-and-forth battle through all three rounds of their bout. Both men earned an extra $50,000 for their efforts, but Assuncao was the one to also take home the split-decision victory.
The Knockout of the Night was another easy one to figure out, as it would have been difficult to deny Dong Hyun Kim’s surprising knockout upset of Erick Silva. The Brazilian took control of the fight early in the second round, until he and Kim launched punches at the same moment. Kim's punch landed on target, putting Silva’s lights out and sending him freefalling to the canvas.
The surprising finish netted Kim the $50,000 post-fight bonus.