Following last night’s UFC On ESPN 30 event in Las Vegas the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Pat Sabatini earned one of four performance bonuses on the night in a fight which saw him and Jamall Emmers battling to submit each other with leg locks at the same time in the opening round, with Sabatini’s heel hook proving to be the fight-ender, and unfortunately appearing to damage his opponent’s knee in the process.
There was never any doubt that Abdul Razak Al-Hassan was going to end up getting a bonus award after his stunning 17 second KO finish against Alessio Di Chirico as his opponent leaned in just as he was throwing his first strike of the fight – a devastating head kick that left him dazed and confused in a heap on the mat.
Also deservedly winning a performance bonus was submission specialist Gerald Meerschaert, who surprised Makhmud Muradov by bringing the fight to him on the feet and having significant success in doing so, before managing to get the action to the mat and lock-up a second round rear-naked choke finish.
Main event winner Giga Chikadze also secured a performance bonus after he put on a striking masterclass against Edson Barboza, pressing the action from early in the fight with fast kicks and crisp punches.
Barboza made adjustments and had better success in the second round, but in the third Chikadze found a home for big punches that rocked the Brazilian, leading to a brief scramble on the mat and then Chikadze flooring him again when they got back to the feet, leading to a TKO stoppage.
While it wasn’t officially mentioned as a bonus winner, Dana White later confirmed he would also be giving what proved to be a classic back-and-forth TUF final scrap between Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand a well-earned bonus too for what was undoubtedly the ‘Fight Of The Night’.