It’s rare but on occasion, the UFC will award a fighter their win-bonus despite them not actually winning a fight. Tim Means is the latest to receive his bonus money despite technically dropping a split-decision to Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night: 145.
Means’ corner told him he’d won both rounds heading into the 3rd but the judges didn’t see it that way. None of them scored the 1st round for Means and only one gave him the 2nd round.
Judge, Phillip Iorio, scored the 1st two rounds for Moraes and only gave the last round to Means. Judge, Marcos Rosales, (the only judge to award Means the bout) scored the 1st for Moraes and the last two for Means. Finally, Tony Weeks scored the 1st two rounds for Moraes and only gave the final round to Means.
Out of 14 media members polled on their decision for the fight, only 1 scored the bout for Moraes.
Fighters Awarded Win Bonus Despite Loss
In 2010, Nam Pham was on the wrong end of the controversial judge’s decision when he dropped a fight to Leonard Garcia. Dana White offered him his win bonus, regardless.
Bantamweight, John Albert, was awarded a win bonus despite technically losing to Erik Perez in 2012. Referee, Kim Winslow stopped the bout in the 1st round claiming Albert verbally submitted to an armbar. Albert, of course, denies he submitted and there is no evidence to suggest he did. No replay seemed to capture him submitting but Kim Winslow claimed it happened. The UFC decided to pay Albert his win bonus as compensation.
Takeya Mizugaki was also paid his win bonus in 2012 after he dropped a fight that Dana felt he won. Then in 2013, Abel Trujillo was awarded his win-bonus despite being disqualified for an illegal knee against Roger Bowling.
Ross Pearson was paid his win bonus despite losing to Diego Sanchez in 2014.
In early 2015, Erick Silva was paid his win-bonus despite being controversially disqualified in his fight with Carlo Prater at UFC 142. Also in 2015, Sean Spencer was paid his win-bonus despite judges unanimously giving the bout to his opponent, Cathal Pendred in Boston.