Following last night’s UFC 295 event in New York City the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
The UFC brass were generous with their handouts after a big night of finishes at Madison Square Garden, leading to a total of 7 bonuses.
‘Fight Of The Night’ honors went to a thrilling preliminary card fight between Viacheslav Borshchev and Nazim Sadykhov, which ended in a majority draw result.
Borshev’s crisp boxing to the head and body and good kicks helped him win the opening round, but in the second Sadykhov hurt him with a punch and then floored him with a big head kick. Somehow the now bloodied Borschev survived that potential fight-ender and the ground-and-pound that followed, but the momentum of the fight had now shifted dramatically. However, Borschev showed his toughness, determination and skill in the final five minutes as he used his clinical striking and deeper energy reserves to boss the stand-up action, while managing to work his way back to his feet when taken down in order to win the round and force the judges into declaring the fight a draw.
Alex Pereira earned one of five ‘Performance Of The Night’ awards for his big knockout win over Jiri Prochazka to claim the vacant light-heavyweight title.
Pereira’s powerful leg kicks were the story of the first round, and though Prochazka had a good poker-face there was no doubt they quickly began to take a toll on him. so much so that Prochazka opted to bring the fight to the mat later in the round, but to his credit Pereira was able to gradually work his way back to his feet.
Then in the second round Pereira continued to find success with his leg kicks, and late in the round when Prochazka came charging forward with a flurry of strikes the former middleweight champ was able to counter with two punches that dropped him to his knees. Prochazka instinctively grabbed his opponent’s legs as he tried to clear the cobwebs, but Pereira showed him no mercy by raining down hammerfists and elbows to the side of the head until Prochazka fell backwards. Pereira landed on him in mount, but before he could go in for the kill the ref stepped in to wave off the fight, declaring Pereira the new 205lb champ via KO.
Meanwhile in the co-main event Tom Aspinall won the interim heavyweight title and scooped up a performance bonus after he TKO’d Sergei Pavlovich in the opening round.
Aspinall looked for kicks early in the fight, while Pavlovich gave him a taste of his punching power in return. Then just 69 seconds into the fight came the ending as Aspinall landed a punch to the temple that left Pavlovich on unsteady legs, before a follow-up hook crashed home to send his opponent slumping to the canvas, where he’d be greeted for a few more strikes to seal a momentous TKO victory.
Jessica Andrade fought her way out of a three-fight losing slump in a ferocious fashion against Mackenzie Dern, who proved to be a willing dance partner in the striking exchanges, but was a sitting duck at times due to her defensive deficiencies.
In the latter stages of the opening round Andrade was already beginning to hurt Dern, but it was the second round when the brutal beatdown really began to accelerate rapidly. When Andrade claimed her first knockdown of the round via punches she wisely declined to follow her opponent to the mat and instead waved her back up. Dern obliged and tried to go on the offensive, but Andrade was waiting to counter and soon put her back down again with a right hand. Dern got back to her feet on wobbled legs looking like a deer in the headlights as Andrade stalked forward and blasted her with a hook and a straight that sunk her to the mat one final time for an emphatic TKO finish.
Benoit Saint Denis confirmed he’s one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in the lightweight division as he got the better of Matt Frevola with a swift highlight-reel finish.
The tempo was high from the start here and Frevola was able to land a big takedown, but BSD battled his way back to his feet and as his opponent backed off he unleashed a big head kick that connects and leads to a big KO finish only 91 seconds into the fight.
The main card opener had set the tone for the PPV portion of the card when Diego Lopes KO’d Pat Sabatini in just 90 seconds.
After an early scramble on the mat Lopes landed an uppercut as they rose back up, then hurt Sabatini with a big right hand, before pouring on the pressure to get him to the mat. From there Lopes trapped one of Sabatini’s hands behind his back as he rained down ground-and-pound with the other to deliver a knockout finish.