Following last night’s UFC 260 event the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
‘Fight of The Night’ honors went to a wild co-main event battle between Vicente Luque and Tyron Woodley.
It was clear from the opening bell that Woodley was determined to shake off his often overly passive approach to fighting in recent years and so he came charging out at Luque with big strikes and aggressive clinch work.
However, Luque was able to reverse those early clinches nicely and was also looking to let his hands go.
Something had to give and it was Woodley who first hurt Luque with a punch, but he quickly regained his bearing and then returned fire, leaving the former champion wobbled.
Luque continued to blast him with big punches against the cage, then got the fight to the cage and locked in a d’arce choke to force the still-dazed Woodley to tap out.
One of the two ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonuses was handed to Francis Ngannou after his fearsome display off striking against Stipe Miocic in the main event.
Ngannou demonstrated new-found patience and solid takedown defense in the opening round together with his powerful and more varied than usual offense, which left Miocic looking increasingly gun-shy.
It would only get worse for Miocic in the second as he tried to regain some ground, only for Ngannou to stagger him momentarily to the mat with a punch. Ngannou continued to pressure and Miocic clipped him with a punch, then saw that as an opportunity to surge forward, only to get caught flush by a short left hand that felled him awkwardly onto the canvas, whereby a bombing punch from ‘The Predator’ knocked him out cold.
The other performance bonus went to Sean O’Malley who looked assured in his striking from range against Thomas Almeida through much of their fight, and indeed was very close to finishing him in the opening round due to a head kick and follow-up punch that floored his opponent, but his attempt to walk-off in celebration when the ref told him to fight on and bought Almeida time to recover.
However, after continuing to control the action, O’Malley would eventually put an exclamation point on his performance in the final minutes of the fight when he dropped Almeida again and then turned out his lights with a powerful blow while he was still grounded.