Following last night’s UFC On ESPN 26 event in Las Vegas the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced, and there were more up-for-grabs than usual, with two extra ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonuses being dished out, for a total of six awards after an action-packed night of fighting.
Earning ‘Fight of The Night’ honors was a high-paced main card scrap between Billy Quarantillo and Gabriel Benitez.
Quarantillo hit the ground running from the opening bell, taking the fight to Benitez with high volume striking and soon floored him, then put in good work on the mat too. Billy Q also controlled the action in the second round, but in the final round Benitez started to turn the screw, dropping his opponent and looking to capitalize on the mat.
However, Quarantillo didn’t wilt and instead was able to swing the fight back in his favor in the minutes that followed as he got Benitez down, took his back and landed ground and pound for the late TKO finish.
The first of four performance bonuses went to Miesha Tate, who showed no sign of ring rust after five years in retirement as she secured a stoppage win over Marion Reneau in the co-main event.
Tate’s striking looked to have improved since we last saw her, but it was still her wrestling that proved to be her strongest suit and would lead to her delivering a ground and pound stoppage in the third round.
Mateusz Gamrot also had an impressive main card win as he took down Jeremy Stephens early and then countered his opponent’s kimura attempt by applying one of his own, which forced a tapout just 65 seconds into the fight.
Meanwhile, Rodolfo Vieira bounced back from a submission loss last time out nicely against Dustin Stoltfus as he appeared to not only have at least partially addressed his cardio issues, but also seemed to have sharpened up his striking, though ultimately it was a third round rear-naked choke that would seal a finish inside the distance.
Finally, Rodrigo Nascimento also took home a performance bonus after having a tough first round against Alan Badout, only to seize the momentum in the second round with his striking, which led to his opponent covering up against the cage and a TKO stoppage.