UFC 302 Bonus Awards

Following last night’s UFC 302 event in New Jersey the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.

Earning ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors was the lightweight title main event between Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier that perhaps exceeded expectations, providing a competitive battle that went deep into the fifth and final round.

The first round played out as many might have expected, with Makhachev able to get Poirier down with relative ease and then threaten with submission attempts. To his credit Poirier survived though and then started to warm up to the task at hand as the rounds went on, doing a better job of stuffing some takedown attempts, which then gave him opportunities to make his mark on the feet. Poirier even managed to draw blood with an elbow and the championship rounds began to feel very competitive, until Makhachev found another gear in the final round and managed to tap out ‘The Diamond’ with a well executed d’arce choke.

Islam Makhachev’s victory also earned him a ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonus, and it was well earned, particularly for the fight ending sequence, which saw him change up his approach to taking Poirier down by going for an ankle-pick, then wrenching Poirier to the mat with the d’arce choke in play, which Poirier revealed after the fight actually briefly sent him to sleep moments after he tapped out.

Also earning a performance bonus was Kevin Holland, who instantly turned things around after being dropped by Michal Oleksiejczuk in the first round by working for an armbar off his back. Oleksiejczuk proved too tough for his own good as he refused to tap-out, leading Holland to apply even more pressure and break his arm, at which point the ref stepped in to wave off the fight.

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.