23-year old Dustin Poirier lived up to his nickname by turning in a performance as beautiful as any “diamond” by choking out Max Holloway in the opening round of their undercard bout on Saturday night at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit. The 12-1 Poirier picked up the fifth submission win of his career with a slick, mounted Armbar-Triangle Choke. The technique not only moved him one step closer to a shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo but also earned him $65,000 as the show’s Submission of the Night.
Meanwhile, Fight of the Night went to the combined efforts of Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum. The heavyweights went at it for fifteen minutes with “Big Country” fending off the Brazilian’s brutal Muay Thai. Similarly to Poirier, each man won $65,000 for the event-specific bonus.
Last but certainly not least, debuting welterweight Stephen Thompson lived up to the hype by scoring an opening round finish with a beautiful head-kick to earn Knockout of the Night honors. Thompson is now 6-0 after winning more than 50 fights as a kickboxer without ever tasting defeat. He too took home $65k for his performance.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC