Following an exciting night of fights at UFC On ESPN 27 the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Earning ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors was the three-round co-main event battle between Kyler Phillips and Raulian Paiva.
Phillips had a strong first round as he immediately found his range and began to land high-volume, dynamic offense that Paiva was struggling to keep up with and had him hurt several times, including late in the round when a big elbow and follow-up strikes seemed to have him on the verge of being stopped.
Nevertheless, Paiva never quit on himself and instead in the second-half of the fight he started to find more significant success with his own hard-hitting strikes and appeared to wobble his opponent at one point, while Phillips was trying to change things up as he went for takedowns at times.
Both men were tired by the third round, but they were still scrapping back-and-forth, with Paiva perhaps just edging the action between the striking and mat work, which led many pundits to believe we could be heading for a draw, although it was Paiva who ultimately emerged with a majority decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-28).
Meanwhile, Darren Elkins picked up a ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonus after he once again showcased his extreme toughness, taking a beating and surviving several submissions from Darrick Minner in the first round, only to then capitalize on his opponents dwindling energy reserves in the second round to get on top and unleash payback via ground-and-pound to secure a TKO stoppage.
Also securing a performance bonus was Adrian Yanez, who looked in real trouble in the first round as Randy Costa hit him with everything but the kitchen sink.
However, Yanez endured and then began to turn the screw in the second round as he started to let his own hands go more frequently, which began to force Costa into a defensive shell, at which point he landed two hard body shots followed by an uppercut to sink him to the canvas, with follow-up strikes sealing the TKO victory.