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UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik Vs Gane Bonus Coverage

The Fights & Performances That Warranted An Extra $50,000

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Gane

February 27, 2021, UFC APEX, Las Vegas

Pedro Munhoz of Brazil and Jimmie Rivera talk after their bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Pedro Munhoz of Brazil and Jimmie Rivera talk after their bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Fight of the Night: Pedro Munhoz vs Jimmie Rivera

Almost six years after their first epic meeting, bantamweight contenders Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera gave an encore that did their initial bout proudly. Munhoz took the commanding unanimous decision win, cementing his place among the best of the division and evening the score with Rivera.

Both men threw heat as soon as the fight started, eating shots and delivering bigger ones as soon as the fight started. Munhoz found some traction via leg kicks, leaving Rivera in pain and hobbled, but "El Terror" bit down on his mouthpiece and stayed in the fight. Rivera tried to mix things up as the fight went on, but Munhoz shucked off his takedowns and looked for the seminal blow. Munhoz continued to pour on the painful pressure toward Rivera's legs as the fight grew, but Rivera countered well with haymakers up top. 

The two didn't let up from bell to bell and shared great respect for each other at the end of the bout. The scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Munhoz, and most left the bout feeling like a trilogy bout would be in order in the future.

Performance of the Night: Ronnie Lawrence

UFC debutant Ronnie Lawrence showed off a well-versed, well-rounded skillset in his win over Vince Cachero. He got to work quickly in the first round, scoring a strong right hand late in the frame. He showed off his ability to mix things up, racking up a trio of takedowns and doing damage to Cachero's legs and body. Lawrence continued a relentless pace, upping the tempo in the third round in which featured a suplex and a barrage of ground-and-pound to get the finish midway through the third round.

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes Vs Lewis

February 20, 2021, UFC APEX, Las Vegas

Derrick Lewis reacts after his knockout victory over Curtis Blaydes in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Derrick Lewis reacts after his knockout victory over Curtis Blaydes in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Performance Of The Night - Derrick Lewis

The KO king reigned supreme once again at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes Vs Lewis. Derrick Lewis waited for his opportunity to land a massive uppercut in the second round that completely shut the lights off for Curtis Blaydes. This type of fight is what we've grown accustom to from "The Black Beast". He waits for his moment and knocks out his opponent and then leaves the Octagon with a win and an extra $50,000.

Performance Of The Night - Chris Daukaus

Chris Daukaus' rise deserves attention. He took out two tough guys early in his first two UFC appearances, so the UFC gave him a step-up in competition. They gave him the ultra dangerous Aleksei Oleinik and what did Daukaus do? He passed with flying colors, doing exactly what he had done in his first two fights. He picked Oleinik apart and he made it look easy.

Daukaus landed heavy strikes and poured on combos, nearly prompting the fight to be stopped on more than one occasion. With Oleinik covering up against the fence, Daukaus didn't stop throwing haymakers and forced the referee to call it before the first bell rang.

Big things are on the horizon for Daukaus, who will find a shiny number next to his name next week.

Performance Of The Night - Tom Aspinall

England's Tom Aspinall started off the main card in a big way. He, like Daukaus, took out his first two opponents with ease and then was given a veteran heavyweight. In Aspinall's case, he was given former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski and he went out there and showed he absolutely is a prospect that people should keep their eyes on. 

Aspinall hurt Arlovski early, causing Arlovski to protect himself up against the cage. That's when Aspinall turned on the jets and unleashed a flurry of strikes that nearly ended the bout in the first round. But Arlovski was able to survive the round and make it to the second. It was there that Aspinall switched up his attack, successfully taking Arlovski down with a beautiful double leg where he quickly transitioned to Arlovski's back and sunk in a rear naked choke.

It was very impressive and it should be very interesting to see who Aspinall matches up with next.

Performance Of The Night - Aiemann Zahabi

What a win for Aiemann Zahabi. After dropping his first two UFC contests he knew he needed a win and he knew he needed to do it in impressive fashion. He accomplished just that by connecting a masterful straight shot that sent Drako Rodriguez to the canvas. It was a clean knockout and it was a huge moment for the Canadian.

UFC 258: Usman vs Burns

February 13, 2021, UFC APEX, Las Vegas

Polyana Viana locks in the arm bar to win | UFC 258: Usman vs Burnsf
Polyana Viana locks in the arm bar to win | UFC 258: Usman vs Burnsf

Polyana Viana

This is the odd outing where it was actually impressive that Mallory Martin lasted more than three minutes again Brazilian submission ace Polyana Viana. Controlling every aspect of the tilt from the opening bell, it seemed to never be a matter of “if” but “when” she would cement the victory that came at 3:18 of the first round with a clinical and brutal armbar.

“I’m really happy. Another submission win showing how sharp my jiu-jitsu is, but my standup game is on point too. I wanted to show it a little bit more, but the submission came and I’m happy with that. I didn’t think she would give me the opportunity to put her down so fast, but that was also part of my strategy.”

Anthony Hernandez

The betting experts had an Anthony Hernandez submission vs Rodolfo Vieira at a whopping +3000. Anyone who might have placed that bet likely went home nearly as happy as Hernandez himself, as he became the first man to defeat the Brazilian with a wild guillotine choke in the second round.

MORE UFC 258: Final ResultsAlexa Grasso Post-Fight InterviewRicky Simon Post-Fight InterviewKelvin Gastelum Post-Fight Interview | Belal Muhammad Post-Fight Interview

“I’m not afraid to fight anybody,” he said backstage following the fight. “At the end of the day I know my coaches and my team will get me prepared. It’s plain and simple. I got into this sport because I knew I could be the best and just because he is 7-0 doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable…I love to beat people at their own game, because then it’s just like ‘where did you beat me at?’, because if you beat them at their best, they have no excuse, so I wanted to give him no excuses.”

Julian Marquez

31 months removed from his last Octagon appearance, Julian Marquez made the most of his return with an anaconda choke of Maki Pitolo. Down on the scorecards heading into the final frame, “The Cuban Missle Crisis” dug deep to complete the long comeback from the injury that sidelined him.

“This fight explained everything that happened on that road,” Marquez agreed. “Everybody is counting you down, people start letting go of you and your belief in coming back and returning. You’re taking a lot of hits, you’re coming up and down, there are some good moments, some bad moments, and at the end of it all, you came back with stunning fashion, you shocked the world and you probably got a performance bonus. That’s exactly how that happened.”

Kamaru Usman

When you pass the great Georges St-Pierre for most wins at welterweight, you’ve created your own rarified air, and the reigning champion did it in style against former teammate Gilbert Burns. Weathering a first round that saw him eating some huge shots, Usman stormed back in the second, rocking from the Brazilian with some wicked strikes that paid homage to new coach Trevor Wittman and training partner Justin Gaethje. But the performance was vintage Usman, who needed all of 34 seconds of the third round to finish the deed with a TKO.

Despite another stellar outing, the win at the expense of his longtime friend proved bittersweet.

""This one was hard for me. It's hard to come in without all the emotions. Gilbert is a guy that I've known from the start. I love him. This one was tough for me to deal with."

UFC Fight Night: Overeem Vs Volkov

February 6, 2021, UFC APEX, Las Vegas

Cory Sandhagen Gets Flying Knee Knockout | Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov
Cory Sandhagen Gets Flying Knee Knockout | Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov

Cory Sandhagen earns a first-round knockout at UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Overeem

Fight Of The Night: Beneil Dariush vs Diego Ferreira

The lightweight division continues to deliver. Both Beneil Dariush and Diego Ferreira entered their UFC Vegas 18 showdown with lengthy win streaks and hopes to make a serious push to the top of the division. The three-round bout was tightly contested, much like their first showdown back in 2014. Dariush's relentless pace forced Ferreira to make adjustments, with both talented ground technicians having moments in entertaining scrambles. Ferreira's strong third round nearly helped him steal a decision, but in the end, it was the pressure of Dariush and his accurate striking that earned him the victory over the Brazilian. 

Official Result: Beneil Dariush def. Diego Ferreira by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Performance of the Night: Alexander Volkov

Alexander Volkov is back in a big way. Since his disappointing loss to Curtis Blaydes, "Drago" has been on a mission, taking care of Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem in back to back knockout victories. Volkov's power was evident, as the Russian battered Overeem with pin-point strikes until the legendary heavyweight couldn't take any more damage. The win puts Volkov in a perfect spot heading into the rest of 2021. He gets to sit back and watch Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou duke it out for the second time and see who emerges from Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis.

Official Result: Alexander Volkov def. Alistair Overeem by TKO at 2:06 of round 2

RELATED: Ode' Osbourne's 26 Second KO Win | Danilo Marques' Submission On Mike Rodriguez | Cory Sandhagen Post-Fight Interview | Alexander Volkov Post-Fight Interview | Beneil Dariush Post-Fight Interview

Performance of the Night: Cory Sandhagen

Second-ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen made an astonishing statement with his Performance of the Night knockout victory over former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Sandhagen scored the second-quickest flying knee knockout in UFC history, stopping the fight just 28 seconds into the first round, and adding a second viral knockout to his highlight reel. With the bantamweight title on the line at UFC 259 between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling, Sandhagen made it clear with his words and performance that he believes he deserves the next shot at the belt.

Official Result: Cory Sandhagen def. Frankie Edgar by KO at :28 of round 1

UFC 257: Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 2

January 23, 2021, Etihad Arena, UFC FIGHT ISLAND

UFC 257: Dustin Poirier Octagon Interview
UFC 257: Dustin Poirier Octagon Interview

Performance of the Night: Dustin Poirier

The “Diamond” rose to the occasion in the rematch, weathering a strong first round from Conor McGregor to score a second-round knockout win in Abu Dhabi.

After a measured first round that included a successful takedown, Poirier committed to kicking McGregor’s lead leg, and that strategy quickly paid dividends. Poirier ate McGregor’s counter shots well and waited for his moment to take the center. Once Poirier pushed McGregor to the fence, he poured on the pressure and unleashed a flurry of hooks. Eventually, enough connected and McGregor fell, evening the series at one win a piece and setting Poirier on the fast track to another title shot.

Performance of the Night: Michael Chandler

Chandler announced himself as the real deal and the newest lightweight contender with an emphatic knockout win over Dan Hooker.

The fight started with Chandler implementing pressure right away, and Hooker constantly circled to his right. Soon enough, Chandler leapt in with a right straight to the body followed by a cracking left hook up top that put Hooker to the mat. Chandler followed with a flurry of ground-and-pound and earned the first-round stoppage.

Performance of the Night: Makhmud Muradov

Muradov started quick against Andrew Sanchez in the first round, connecting with calf kicks and sharp punching combinations. As Sanchez turned up the aggression in the second and third round, Muradov tempered the fire and took advantage of the more drastic openings. Eventually, Muradov connected with a right hand to stagger his foe and finished by landing several unanswered strikes to earn the stoppage in the final round.

Performance of the Night: Marina Rodriguez

While plenty of hype surrounded Amanda Ribas, Marina Rodriguez reminded everyone why she was the higher ranked Brazilian in the fight.

After the first round in which Ribas controlled things well with her grappling. Rodriguez started quickly. Her combinations were decisive and crisp, and a right hand found its home on Ribas’ chin. The up-and-comer wobbled to the floor, and it appeared Rodriguez earned the stoppage with her follow-up strikes. As Rodriguez separated, referee Herb Dean waved the fight on, and Rodriguez pounced on Ribas again and landed two right hands that punctuated the win less than a minute into the second round.


January 20, 2021, Etihad Arena, UFC FIGHT ISLAND

UFC Fight Island 8: Umar Nurmagomedov Def Morozov By Submission In His Debut
UFC Fight Island 8: Umar Nurmagomedov Def Morozov By Submission In His Debut

Performance of the Night: Umar Nurmagomedov

The long-awaited debut of Umar Nurmagomedov delivered as the bantamweight earned a submission win over Sergey Morozov. 

RELATED: Umar Nurmagomedov Post-Fight InterviewWarlley Alves Octagon Interview | Chiesa vs Magny Final Results

Nurmagomedov landed kicks early and evaded the counter shots, and midway through the round, Nurmagomedov shot for the takedown and caused a scramble. The pace continued into the second round with Nurmagomedov rocked Morozov with a head kick, and a couple minutes later, he dipped under a punch to take Morozov’s back. Patient work led to a rear naked choke finish and a loud announcement of his presence in the division.

Performance of the Night: Warlley Alves

Alves stymied the momentum of Mounir Lazzez in the co-main event, putting the pressure on the prospect early. He landed with a fast low kick, a combination of punches and put Lazzez into the clinch. After scoring a few elbows and going for a takedown, Alves hit Lazzez with a body kick that stunned Lazzez and followed with two more to end the fight.

Fight of the Night: Mike Davis vs Mason Jones

A pair of lightweight prospects duked it out over a tough three rounds, with Mike Davis besting UFC debutant Mason Jones via unanimous decision. 

How To Watch UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2

Davis got right to work with his hands, showing quick, fluid boxing and mixing in shots to the body as well. He also initiated the first grappling exchange and scored the takedown, but Jones got back to his feet and started to find his rhythm on the feet. All three rounds were relatively back-and-forth, and the two up-and-comers traded flurries of punches. Davis mixed in more grappling, but Jones resisted well and wore on Davis as the fight went on. Overall, Davis landed the more significant strikes throughout the night and earned the tough-fought win.


January 16, 2021, Etihad Arena, UFC FIGHT ISLAND

Max Holloway kicks Calvin Kattar in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 17, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Performance of the Night: Li Jingliang

Most of the narrative around Li Jingliang’s fight with Santiago Ponzinibbio circulated around the latter’s return, but in the end, “The Leech” came away with his hand raised.

As Ponzinibbio probed in hopes of quickly finding his timing, Li took advantage of the countering opportunities provided from Ponzinibbio’s errant strikes. In one such exchange, Li slipped a shot and came over the top with a left hand to the chin that immediately dropped Ponzinibbio and ended the bout.

“I really expected to either knock him out in the first round or Santiago knocking me out because he is such a powerful fighter,” he said. “I would’ve actually preferred to go all three rounds to show off more of my skillset, but it feels great

“Santiago is such an aggressive, intense fighter and we were prepared for him. The coach told me as soon as the fight began to match his level of intensity, to not back down.”

Performance of the Night: Alessio Di Chirico

Coming off a three-fight skid, Alessio Di Chirico bounced back in a big way, knocking out Joaquin Buckley in the first round via head kick.

Di Chirico seemed locked in early, managing distance as Buckley weaved in with power shots. About two minutes into the fight, Di Chirico timed one of Buckley’s dips and caught him with a right head kick to the temple. It was an important performance for the Italian middleweight, who will surely look to follow up on his big performance soon.

Fight of the Night: Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar

In Max Holloway’s first non-title fight in more than four years, the former featherweight king dismantled an incredibly game Calvin Kattar in the first main event of 2021, setting the bar high for any fights that may come to challenge its standard.

Holloway looked as sharp as ever right from the jump, connecting with extended flurries that left Kattar scrambling against the fence and looking to throw one-shot bombs. “Blessed” fired rapid-fire straight punches, leaving few windows for Kattar to respond. The Massachusetts-native  took his chances as they came, but Holloway mixed up his rhythm well as the fight progressed into the second round. Holloway also found plenty of success with elbows that opened a big cut on Kattar’s forehead.

The fight seemed like it was going to come to an end at several points, but Kattar got his shots in as well, particularly a heavy uppercut in the third round that paused the onslaught of pressure from Holloway. It was here where Holloway committed to body shots, digging hooks into Kattar’s ribs and working his way up from there to win another lopsided round.

The fourth and fifth rounds were all Holloway, featuring several moments where the fight seemed incredibly close to a stoppage. Kattar showed immense toughness, though, firing heavy shots when it seemed like he was melting against the cage. In the end, Holloway displayed the form that shot him up into the G.O.A.T. conversation and reminded everybody that the 29-year-old is very much still in play to recapture his belt. The final scorecards were 50-43, 50-43 and 50-42 – a true reflection of the dominant form Holloway showed.