For those concerned that the recently launched UFC Fan Bonuses, awarded to fighters competing at numbered UFC events based on a fan vote, would be a popularity contest, we have Exhibit A.
Following UFC 274, voting for the fan bonuses awarded three fighters some extra coin — bitcoin, to be exact. The bonuses, launched in conjunction with UFC 273 last month, are sponsored by Crypto.com, whose website provides the voting platform. On Saturday, the three fighters awarded extra money were Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, and… Rose Namajunas.
One of those things is not like the other, as Sesame Street taught us.
In fact, Namajunas took home $30,000 worth of Bitcoin on Saturday, coming in first in the voting despite losing her strawweight title to Carla Esparza in one of the most lackluster championship fights in UFC history. Fans spent a good portion of the fight booing and heckling both fighters; at one point, the arena began doing the wave. And while the wave might be fun at a baseball game, during a fight, it’s generally a sign that the people have lost interest.
So yes, these fans bonuses are very much a popularity contest it seems. At least the other two fan bonuses at UFC 274 made sense: Chandler won $20,000 in bitcoin for sending Tony Ferguson to the shadow realm with a front kick that may have topped both Silva vs. Belfort and Machida vs. Couture, while Charles Oliveira picked up $10,000 in crypto for his submission of Justin Gaethje.