Following last night’s UFC On ESPN 41 event in San Diego the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Earning ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors was one of the wildest scraps of the year so far between Nate Landwehr and David Onama.
In the opening round Onama was able to drop Landwehr twice, including once with a huge left hand that almost delivered a KO finish, but somehow he survived and lived to fight another round. Landwehr’s high pace was already taking a toll on Onama and in in the second round he was able to get him to the mat multiple times and threaten with a variety of submissions, but on a hot and humid night in San Diego Onama continually managed to slip out of them.
In the third round Landwehr was also getting tired, but continued to press the action regardless, while Onama appeared to be running on empty and would fall to the mat several times due to exhaustion more than anything else while under fire, at which point Landwehr would back off and motion to the crowd, who would cheer loudly in response. While everyone else was enjoying Landwehr’s showmanship, Onama was less enamoured and in the final moments of the fight he gathered himself for one final assault and sent his opponent reeling backwards with a big punch, but couldn’t find a finish.
Landwehr would then emerge victorious via majority decision (28-28, 29-27 x2) in a fight that’s now in the discussion for ‘Fight Of The Year’ honors.
One of two ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonuses was handed to main event winner Marlon Vera, who delivered a brutal highlight-reel finish against Dominick Cruz in the fourth round.
Cruz was the far busier fighter throughout the bout and indeed was up on the scorecards heading into the championship rounds, but when Vera had let his hands go he had already proven he had a distinct power advantage, having rocked him several times.
However, it would prove to be a perfectly timed head kick that would eventually win him the fight, landing it just as Cruz was ducking to the side, sending him crashing face-first onto the mat with a badly broken nose, with follow-up punches sealing the KO finish.
Also earning a performance bonus was Tyson Nam, who was able to read a flying knee strike from Ode Osbourne and landed a perfectly timed counter-punch that floored him for the KO finish.