— 9,380 UFC fans came out to the Verizon Center in Washington DC last for a $706,775 live gate. Both numbers set new attendance and live gate records for the UFC on Versus series.
— Matt Wiman and Mac Danizg took home $65,000 Fight of the Night bonuses for their dogfight. Stefan Struve picked up Submission of the Night honors for tapping out Pat Barry with a triangle choke. Anthony Johnson was awarded the KO bonus for brutally kicking Charlie Brenneman in the face.
— A broken hand didn’t stop bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz from defending his title against Demetrious Johnson last night. That’s right, Cruz broke his hand during the fight, but you wouldn’t know it if you relied on Cruz to tell you. Dana White had to break the news following the fight.
“You know one of the things I respect about the kid?” UFC president Dana White openly pondered. “He’s got a broken hand and had one the entire fight. He broke his (left) hand and is going to have surgery. Not only did he not stop fighting and keep coming up 100 percent, he doesn’t even [expletive] say anything about it.
“He goes through an entire press conference and doesn’t say anything about his hand.”
Cruz shrugged it off like it was no big deal, but the injury will require surgery. His timetable for return is unknown.
In the meantime, his next challenger will likely be decided when Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles meet at UFC 139.
— The UFC is getting very close to adding a flyweight division. As Dana White explained, you may see some familiar faces from TUF 14 on the flyweight roster in addition to UFC newcomers. One fighter you won’t see at 125 anytime soon though is Demetrious Johnson. Despite the loss last night, Johnson is determined to get better and make his way back up the bantamweight ladder.
“I’m focused more at 135,” Johnson said. “I know I lost, but I’m happy where I’m at, and I still think I can be champion at 135. I’m going to go home and fix a lot of things and keep climbing back to the top of that mountain.”
It’s still unclear exactly when the flyweight division will be implemented, but if the UFC is going to run as many shows as they say they in 2012, we’ll probably see it sometime next year if not before.
— There was a little controversy last night surrounding the Anthony Johnson vs. Charlie Brenneman stoppage. If you missed it, Johnson blasted Brenneman with a nasty kick right to the mouth off a scramble. It should have knocked him out, but amazingly Brenneman was still conscious when he landed and appeared to be in position to defend himself from his back. It didn’t matter though, because referee Mario Yamasaki called the fight as soon as the kick landed which led many to believe the fight was stopped prematurely. When asked about it the press conference, neither Johnson or Dana thought there was anything wrong with it.
“Yamasaki is a good ref, so whatever he decided to do didn’t bother me,” Johnson shrugged.
“I agree 100 percent with that stoppage,” [Dana] said. “He was on crazy legs before the kick to the head happened. And again, there’s a fine line between stopped too early and stopped too late, and I’ll takes stopped too early every time. I thought he was hurt before the kick to the face.
“And that was a kick to the face.”
Yes, it was.
— Regarding the simultaneous Japan/Las Vegas events the UFC has planned for next February, Dana White clarified that the Japan card would air on live TV before the Vegas show goes live on pay-per-view.
“It’s going to happen,” White said. “It’ll be live in Japan and live in the United States. The fight in Japan would go live on free TV before the (Las Vegas) pay-per-view.”
Dana says both cards will be “stacked.”
— And last but not least, Dana White revealed last night that’s he’s working on bringing Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez over to the UFC.
“Yeah, we do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over, and we’re looking at it right now,” White said following Saturday’s UFC on Versus 6 event at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center. “We’re looking to bring Gilbert Melendez over ASAP.”
Melendez was expected to defend his Strikeforce title in December against Jorge Masvidal, but that seems to be in question now. Dana says an immediate title shot is a possibility if the timing works out, but it’s too early to tell right now.