The UFC gives out post-fight bonus awards to motivate its fighters to put on exciting performances. That's because, more often than not, fighting in a conservative style is the easier and safer path to victory.
This element makes the combatants think of winning spectacularly rather than simply getting the job done. But for some fighters, rendering show-stealing performances fight after fight comes naturally.
As expected, the individuals with the most post-fight bonus awards are some of the biggest fan favorites in the UFC. That said, let's take a look at which five fighters have made a career out of raking in post-fight bonus awards in the octagon.
5 UFC fighters with the most post-fight bonus awards:
#5 Anderson Silva (UFC post-fight bonus awards: 14)
Anderson Silva's post-prime career has been disastrous, but he was one of the most unstoppable champions in the UFC at his peak.
Not only was Silva dominant, but he also instilled fear into his opponents' hearts. That's because, more often than not, 'The Spider' finished his challengers off in an astounding manner.
Silva's knockout of fellow Brazilian legend Vitor Belfort is possibly the best career highlight of his career. The former longtime UFC middleweight champ put Belfort to sleep with a picture-perfect front kick to the chin.
Throughout his illustrious career, Silva has collected a total of 14 UFC post-fight bonus awards. Silva holds the UFC record for most 'Knockout of the Night' wins with seven, while he has five 'Fight of the Night' bonuses and two 'Submission of the Night' victories.
#4 Joe Lauzon (UFC post-fight bonus awards: 15)
Joe Lauzon is among the longest-tenured active fighters in the UFC today. His career in the octagon has now spanned almost 15 years, and he has collected several UFC post-fight bonus awards along the way.
Lauzon, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, is the owner of the most SOTN awards with six. He also has seven FOTN wins, one KO of the Night, and one 'Performance of the Night' bonus.
'J-Lau' has been a respectable gatekeeper in the UFC's stacked lightweight division for many years. In his most recent fight, Lauzon decided to move down to featherweight, where he defeated up-and-comer Jonathan Pearce via TKO.
#3 Nate Diaz (UFC post-fight bonus awards: 15)
Nate Diaz is undeniably one of the most popular stars in the UFC today. He became a massive fan favorite by putting on an entertaining show every time he set foot inside the octagon. Thanks to his valiant efforts, Nate Diaz has collected a total of 15 UFC post-fight bonus awards.
The beloved octagon bad boy is the record-holder for most FOTN awards, with eight under his belt. He has also earned five SOTN bonuses, a KO of the Night, and a POTN throughout his 14-year UFC career.
Diaz has always been popular among hardcore UFC fans, but his star-making performance came when he submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 196, handing 'Notorious' his first defeat in the UFC. McGregor avenged his loss when the pair rematched at UFC 202, and fans have been waiting for a trilogy bout ever since.
Diaz will make history when he returns to the octagon against Leon Edwards at UFC 262. The welterweight bout between the two is the first five-round non-title fight outside of the main event.
#2 Charles Oliveira (UFC post-fight bonus awards: 16)
Charles Oliveira has been with the UFC since he was 21 years old. Ten years later, Oliveira has emerged as one of the top contenders in the talent-rich 155-pound weight class.
Oliveira has habitually put on action-packed performances in the octagon. He has the most POTN bonus awards in the UFC with 10 and owns three FOTN and SOTN apiece. He also holds the record for most submission wins in UFC history.
'Do Bronx' is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak with notable victories against Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson. If Oliveira can make it nine in a row against Michael Chandler, he will walk away from UFC 262 as the new lightweight champion.
#1 Donald Cerrone (UFC post-fight bonus awards: 18)
With 23 victories over a span of 10 years, Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone is the fighter with the most wins in the UFC. Not only that, but he's also one of the most thrilling mixed martial artists to watch.
There are no statistics that could definitively measure how exciting a fighter is. But Cerrone's penchant for putting on barnburners is validated by his 18 UFC post-fight bonus awards. 'Cowboy' has won every UFC post-fight bonus award multiple times. He has seven POTN wins, six FOTN awards, three KOs of the Night, and two SOTN bonuses.
As of late, Cerrone has been on a four-fight skid, coming up short against some of the UFC's most talented stars. He was scheduled to get a shot at redemption against fellow veteran Diego Sanchez at UFC Vegas 26 on May 8th, but Sanchez was forced to withdraw from the bout.