UFC 285 Bonus Awards

Following last night’s UFC 285 event the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.

The ‘Fight Of The Night’ award was given to an exciting welterweight fight between Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal on the main card, and it saw Dana White break the rules by declaring that he was giving Neal his bonus money even though he was technically ineligible for it after missing weight by 4lbs on Friday.

The reason White did that was likely down to Neal’s sheer toughness as he endured a lot of punishment against the in-form, undefeated Rakhmonov, who repeatedly landed big punches, knees and elbows on him over the course of the fight, but somehow stayed in the fight for longer than expected.

And Neal had his moments too, landing big punches that have typically finished lesser opponents, yet Rakhmonov raised his stock even higher than it already was by showing off his strong chin and heart to continue pushing onward in search of a finish, which eventually came late in the final round via a rear-naked choke submission.

Meanwhile, Alexa Grasso earned a ‘Performance Of The Night’ award after she earned a jaw-dropping fourth round submission finish over Valentina Shevchenko to earn her long-reign as flyweight champion.

Grasso was a big underdog heading into the fight, but she showed she wasn’t overawed by the occasion as she got the better of the early action with her willingness to go on the offensive and use her fast hands and footwork, while Shevchenko took longer to warm up and find her timing.

However, Shevchenko did eventually get into her stride in the second and third round and looked set to continue to do so until late in the fourth round when an failed attempt at a close-range spinning kick left her back exposed for a brief moment, and in the blink of an eye Grasso pounced on that golden opportunity to jump on, take her to the ground and sink in what would prove to be a fight-ending rear-naked choke submission finish.

Also earning a performance bonus was the much-hyped wrestling stand-out Bo Nickal, whose official UFC debut went exactly the same as his previous two fights on the Contender Series as he bulldozed through Jamie Pickett to earn an arm-triangle choke submission mid-way through the first round to extend his MMA record to 4-0.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.