Following last night’s enthralling UFC 189 in Las Vegas, the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 fighter bonus awards were announced.
Such was the caliber of the bouts on last night’s card that it must have been difficult to pick the overall ‘Fight Of The Night’, but it’s hard to complain with the UFC’s decision to award it to the thrilling co-main event title fight in which Robbie Lawler successfully defended his welterweight strap in a bloody five round battle with Rory MacDonald.
After being badly hurt himself in the previous couple of rounds, Lawler somehow found the strength to rally early in the final frame and a powerful left hand to MacDonald’s already mangled nose proved to be the decisive blow, handing him the TKO victory.
Earning the first ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonus was man of the moment Conor McGregor who once again backed up all his pre-fight words with action inside the Octagon as he survived some tough times on the mat against Chad Mendes in the opening couple of rounds before seizing on an increasingly rare opportunity to showcase his striking superiority late in the second, unleashing a barrage of blows that would lead to Mendes demise via TKO.
There was plenty of competition for the second ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonus too, but the UFC’s job was made slightly easier by the fact that Jeremy Stephens highlight-reel flying knee finish against Dennis Bermudez was ruled out of contention for the award due to the fact that ‘Lil Heathen’ had failed to make weight the previous day.
That paved the way for Thomas Almeida’s equally impressive flying knee finish against Brad Pickett in a thoroughly enjoyable main card opening scrap to claim the $50,000 bonus.