Following last night’s UFC 267 event on Fight Island the recipients of the $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Many people had tipped the co-main event interim title battle between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen would be the ‘Fight of The Night’ even before the show began, and the bantamweights didn’t disappoint.
Sandhagen started strongly, putting together accurate combinations from range at a high tempo, but it wasn’t long before Yan got into his groove, pressing forward relentlessly while displaying his powerful boxing and heavy kicks. In the third round he dropped Sandhagen briefly with a spinning backfist and by the fourth round he was connecting frequently with thunderous left hands as his opponent appeared to be running out of steam.
However, credit to Sandhagen for summoning the strength to attempt a comeback in the final round, but Yan was up to the challenge and in the end would emerge with a unanimous decision victory (49-46 x3).
Meanwhile, one of two ‘Performance Of The Night’ awards went to the 42-year-old Glover Teixeira, who was crowned the UFC’s new light-heavyweight champion after he convincingly defeated Jan Blachowicz in the main event.
As has often been the case in Teixeira’s late-career run it was his skills on the mat that sealed the deal here, taking Blachowicz down early and controlling him there for much of the first round. In the second a big left hook hurt the champion and soon after Teixeira was again able to bring him down, take his back and almost instantly force a tapout after sinking in a rear-naked choke.
Also earning a performance bonus was Khamzat Chimaev who made short work of Li Jingliang, taking him down in the opening seconds of the fight and then looking completely dominant on the mat before choking his opponent unconscious with a rear-naked choke submission.