UFC Fight Night 96 emanated from the Moda Center in Portland, OR tonight (October 1, 2016). The top two fights on the bill saw the fighter unable to make weight leave victorious. John Lineker escaped his thrilling five-round barnburner with John Dodson with a split decision victory. Meanwhile, the co-main event saw Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira hurt former Bellator champion Will Brooks’ ribs in the first round before finishing him off in the third with ground and pound.

Neither Brazilian would take home a post-fight bonus, however.

No Fight of the Night was recognized. Instead, four Performance of the Night bonuses were doled out.

Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes took home an extra $50,000 for his second round ground and pound finish of Cody East. The two heavyweights engaged in a high-volume slugfest for the better part of two rounds, with each rocking the other on the feet. It was Blaydes’ wrestling that made the difference, as he was able to repeatedly ground and punish the Jackson-Wink representative.

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Elsewhere on the undercard, Nate ‘The Great’ Marquardt continued to stave off retirement talk with yet another improbable finish, this time of Tamden McCrory. Marquardt had success with his wrestling, but ‘The Barn Cat’ was able to keep him off-balance on the mat with his aggressive submission attack. After a referee restart in the second round, Marquardt found a home for a right hand that put McCrory on wobbly legs. Marquardt patiently walked McCrory down before landing a head kick that sent Binghamton, NY native crashing to the canvas. It was a much-needed victory for Marquardt, who had lost six of eight coming into the fight. He took home an extra 50 grand for his efforts.

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It was a much-needed victory for Marquardt, who had lost six of eight coming into the fight. He took home an extra 50 grand for his efforts.

Brazilian Muay Thai black belt Luis Henrique da Silva pocketed another ,000 bonus for his own second-round finish of Joachim Christensen. It was not his striking that got the job done, though. ”Frankenstein’ did have success on the feet, but he would ultimately take Christensen’s back in a scramble before transitioning to the fight-ending armbar.

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Finally, the main card kicked off with an impressive victory from the biggest underdog on the card. Brandon ‘Assassin Baby’ Moreno, fresh off defeat on the still-ongoing season of The Ultimate Fighter, battled #9 ranked Louis Smolka. Moreno tapped the highly favored Hawaiian with a high-elbow guillotine in the very first round. In doing so, he garnered new fans, their admiration, and an extra $50,000.

Stay tuned to LowKickMMA for all the UFC Portland post-fight coverage.

Josh found MMA in 2009 and has been an increasingly voracious consumer of the sport ever since. He started writing in January 2016, first as a blogger and then as a writer for LowKickMMA. He produces historical list pieces, occasional news coverage, opinions, and fight analysis for LK. He also co-hosts the Daily Fantasy Knockout podcast.