Thursday, 10 March 2011

UFC 127: Second Australia event brings $3.5 million gate; Hunt, Noke, Lytle and Ebersole earn $75K bonuses

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The UFC's second trip to Australia was a successful one, as the organization brought in an attendance of 18,186 to the Acer Arena in Sydney, according to UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik following the event. They increased attendance by over 300 from last year's UFC 110 event, and added an extra million dollars to their gate with $3.5 million generated for the event, which saw B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch fight to a majority draw.

Four fighters were also beneficiaries of the night's excellent live gate, as it bumped the Fight Night bonuses up to $75,000. Mark Hunt, Kyle Noke, Chris Lytle and Brian Ebersole each received that figure for their efforts on the card.

Hunt knocked out Chris Tuchscherer with a brutal right uppercut in the second round to earn the night's "Knockout of the Night" award. After landing the punch, Hunt simply walked away and raised his arm, knowing Tuchscherer was done. The win snapped a six fight losing streak dating back to July of 2006.

Kyle Noke got the hometown crowd into a frenzy with his excellent first round rear naked choke win over Chris Camozzi. An early trip takedown put Noke right into the mount, and once Camozzi gave up his back Noke got his hooks in, flattened him out on the ground and applied the choke. It was a beautiful transition game for the Aussie that led to the win, and the "Submission of the Night" bonus.

Brian Ebersole's upset of Chris Lytle took home the "Fight of the Night" for both fighters, a bittersweet extra for Lytle in his 10th loss in the Octagon. The heavily favored Lytle took the first round with several submission attempts and some hard striking combinations to the head and body of Ebersole, but the tide changed in the second round. Ebersole took the fight to Lytle, and after a brief takedown had Lytle scrambling up to his feet and off balance, Ebersole lit him up with a knee to the jaw. Lytle somehow survived, but Ebersole took control from there, winning the second and third rounds to take home the win in his UFC debut.

Penick's Analysis: Hunt and Noke were well deserving of their awards, though I would have probably leaned towards Penn vs. Fitch as my fight of the night. The upset nature of the Lytle-Ebersole fight certainly raised it up, and it was a good and exciting fight, but I highly enjoyed the main event despite the draw. Still, can't complain on that, and for Lytle, he's won yet another bonus in the UFC, though the door to getting into title contention may have closed on him forever.


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