Following last night’s UFC 264 event in Las Vegas the recipients of the evening’s bonus awards were announced, and on this occasion the amount had been upped to $75,000 instead of $50,000 for the winners of them.
‘Fight Of The Night’ went to a three round stand-up battle between Sean O’Malley and Kris Moutinho, who was making his UFC debut after stepping in on short notice to replace Louis Smolka.
O’Malley was a huge favorite to win, but not many people would have expected him to have to work so hard for it as while Moutinho wasn’t able to trouble him offensively, he showcased incredible toughness as he continually pressed forward despite being hit by everything but the kitchen sink from ‘Sugar’.
O’Malley dealt with the forward pressure admirably with his exceptionally accurate work off the back foot, slick movement and even dropped Moutinho a couple of times, but it looked like he might still have to settle for a win on the scorecards, until in the final 30 seconds referee Herb Dean suddenly deemed that after absorbing hundreds of punches to the face, that the newcomer had suffered enough, leading to a TKO stoppage victory for O’Malley.
Heavyweight Tai Tuivasa picked up one of the two ‘Performance Of The Night’ awards after he made short work of Greg Hardy on the main card.
Tuivasa chewed up Hardy’s legs with kicks in the opening minute of the round, but when his opponent sought to brawl with him and landed a good punch, the Aussie retaliated with a big left hook that stopped him in his tracks and sent him to the mat in a heap, with follow-up punches sealing a 67 second KO finish.
Also earning a performance bonus was Drius Du Plessis who continued his reputation for being a finishing machine with a KO victory against Trevin Giles.
Du Plessis had showed off his ground skills in the opening round as he hunted for a submission, but in the second round a single right hand was enough to switch out the lights and claim his second knockout win in a row inside the Octagon.