For all those fans who have wondered if the UFC's lucrative fight-night bonuses could influence a fighter's game plan, you now have an answer.
UFC welterweight Daniel Roberts, who picked up his first octagon win by defeating Forrest Petz earlier this month at UFC 116, admits the lure of a $75,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus was nearly impossible to ignore.
"I definitely felt I won, but I wasn't surprised," he said. "I saw so many people get screwed. That's why I say to never leave it up to the judges. It was kind of scary. There's a lot of stuff I did wrong. I'm definitely happy I won, but that by far wasn't my best performance."
"I'm not going to beat myself up too bad, but there's definitely a lot of stuff I did wrong," he said. "For one, I was kind of concentrating on a 'Submission of the Night' bonus. I was like, 'I've got to take him down and submit him. Take him down and submit him.' That's normally not how I think when I fight. I usually have more rage in there."
"I could have definitely used [the money]," said Roberts, who earned the decision via scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 (MMAjunkie.com had it 30-27 for Roberts). "But I'm not going to worry about stuff like that anymore. I'm just going to stop my opponent any way possible. ... I'm just thinking damage. The more damage I can do, that's the way I usually fight, and I didn't fight like that. So I'm a little upset with my performance."
"I had a one-track mind," Roberts said. "'Take him down and submit him.' That's pretty much all I was thinking. I got a pretty good rear-naked choke, but I could barely wrap my arms around [his neck]. Most people would have quit.
"But he's got a big chin ... and once he put that big chin in there, I couldn't get under it. It was like (Stan Smith from) 'American Dad.'"
"I'm going to take a little time off, eat whatever I want, and get a little fat," he joked.
But when it comes to his next UFC fight, he thinks the UFC 116 experience will have made him a better fighter.
"I'll be ready for anybody," he said. "I'll be back, and I'll be a lot better. And I won't be worried about that bonus money."