Following UFC 224 last night the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Earning ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors was the co-main event middleweight clash between Kevin Gastelum and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
In the first round it was Jacare who was very much in control as he worked the fight to the floor and then used his world-class Jiu-Jitsu to cut through his opponents guard and then hunt for an armbar, though he couldn’t find the finish before the round ended.
That seemed to take a lot out of Jacare though and he looked visibly tired in the second round, while Gastelum was starting to find success with his striking and then sat the Brazilian down hard with a one-two combo, but despite having him in real trouble he couldn’t put him away.
The third round was very closely contested, with Jacare somehow landing some good shots despite looking on the brink of complete exhaustion, but Gastelum also had his moments and the fact that he looekd fresher may have helped sway the judges as he emerged with a split decision victory.
Lyoto Machida secured a well-earned ‘Performance Of The Night’ award for sending Vitor Belfort into retirement courtesy of a stunning front kick KO in the first round that left the legendary fighter splayed out unconscious on the mat.
Heavyweight fighter Oleksiy Oleinik also secured a ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonus with an impressive submission finish against Junior Albini, using his favored Ezekiel Choke to force the tap-out in the opening round.