There must be something about fighting in front of the men and women that put their lives on the line for you on a daily basis that boosts your performance to a whole new level. At least it appeared so after Wednesday night's UFC Fight for the Troops event in Fayetteville, N.C., which will be remembered as an event chock-full of some of the most brutal finishes in UFC history.
Capping off the night was a crushing knockout by Josh Koscheck. He dazed Yoshiyuki Yoshida with a strong right punch and as the Japanese judoka bounced off of the cage, hands down, Koscheck turned his lights off with another right hand that floored Yoshida.
The knockout earned Koscheck the UFC Fight for the Troops Knockout of the Night, which was accompanied by a bonus check to the tune of $30,000.
MMAWeekly.com learned of the UFC Fight for the Troops awards and bonuses on Wednesday night from UFC officials.
Many have been skeptical of how World Extreme Cagefighting's athletes from the now defunct WEC middleweight and light heavyweight divisions would do in the UFC Octagon. WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell answered the doubters in impressive fashion on Wednesday night, submitting a debuting Razak Al-Hussan. The armbar locked on, Al-Hussan refused to tap. The referee stopped the bout, but only after Al-Hussan's elbow appeared to dislocate.
Besides earning a victory in his first UFC start, the brutal armbar finish was enough to garner Cantwell the UFC Fight for the Troops Submission of the Night and his own $30,000 bonus check.
Opening the live telecast on Spike TV, Jim Miller and Matt Wiman left everything they had laying on the Octagon floor in front of the U.S. Armed Forces crowd. In the end, it was Miller who would get the win via unanimous decision, but both fighters went home $30,000 wealthier for their UFC Fight for the Troops Fight of the Night distinction.
(All awards include a $30,000 bonus for each fighter.)
Knockout of the Night: Josh Koscheck
Submission of the Night: Steve Cantwell
Fight of the Night: Jim Miller and Matt Wiman
(Matt Brown of FIGHT! Magazine contributed to this report.)