Niko Price on rare upkick knockout at UFC Tampa: 'Who else does that?'

TAMPA, Fla. – Niko Price had a pretty good idea that he was going to leave Amalie Arena with a bonus Saturday night.

After all, it’s not every day you see a fight finish with a bulls-eye of an upkick, which is exactly what the welterweight did to James Vick in a devastating knockout at UFC on ESPN+ 19.

But still, until he saw his bonus was official, Price wasn’t holding his breath.

“When I did (the upkick), I was like, ‘Who else does that?’” Price said after the fight. “I figured I did, but I wasn’t getting excited until I waited and I saw my name on Instagram with 50k next to it.”

Indeed, Price earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for a memorable moment that came after things could have gone wrong. Price’s takedown attempt ended up with the lanky Vick atop him, raining down punches.

“I went for that takedown, horrible takedown – but I pulled him on top of me and it worked out for the best,” Price said. “I caught him with the upkick with the heel. Boom.”

Vick wasn’t defending himself, but then, who expects an upkick?

“No one thinks you’re going to hit him. Better watch out with me, man,” Price said. “Ever hear of a lioness, fighting with all four legs? Come at me.”

Price was pretty certain the fight was over when Vick immediately slumped onto him upon impact, but he continued competing until referee Herb Dean pulled him off. Price says it was nothing personal.

“When I hit him, he was falling onto me, but I’m not going to stop hitting you until the ref stops it. Not to be a punk, but I have to keep hitting him because I have to make sure I win. I’m doing this for my kids, not for him. This is my kids’ lives.”

Price then went into a jubilant celebration until he realized Vick was taking quite a bit of time to come back around.

“I watched it and I was like, ‘Ohhh,’ and I felt bad,” Price said. “I’m not trying to hurt anybody like that, like, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ I want the best for everyone. I want that guy to keep fighting because we all need each other.”

As for what’s next, Price says physically, he could go again real soon. But there’s just one hangup.

“There’s nothing wrong with me – my face, nothing hurts,” Price said. “I have a baby coming in December. I did yell that I would fight again, but it has to be the right opportunity. I’m not going to miss my child’s birth for a paycheck.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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