Following last night’s UFC 288 event in New Jersey the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Earning ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors was a fight that saw the undefeated Movsar Evloev taking on a late replacement in Diego Lopes, who made his debut on just five days notice and helped put on quite a show.
On paper it looked like a daunting fight for Lopes but he didn’t approach it that way and in the opening round he landed some good punches and then had Evloev in real danger with a slick armbar attempt. It didn’t quite deliver a finish, but Lopes submission attempts and Evloev’s impressive ability to defend himself in tricky situations became a fixture of the fight.
Meanwhile, Evloev did start to find more success on the feet as the fight went on, and in addition to several takedowns and spells of top control that would be enough to earn him a unanimous decision victory, but Lopes won a lot of plaudits for his debut performance.
Meanwhile, Yan Xioanan was one of two fighters to earn a ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonus as she showed off her striking ability against former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade.
Xioanan was finding a home for her crisp, rangey strikes early on in the fight and as Andrade became increasingly focused on rushing into range throwing wide power hooks, the Chinese fighter was able to meet her with a perfectly timed counter-punch and follow-up hammerfist on the mat to secure a first round KO finish.
Also securing a performance bonus was Matt Frevola, who became the first fighter to finish Drew Dober by strikes in 12 years. Dober was looking to pressure late in the round when Frevola landed a big counter-punch that floored him and then sealed the deal with ground-and-pound to win by TKO.