The UFC handed out post-fight bonuses after Saturday’s card to five total fighters after the event which saw all 10 fights result in an early finish.
From a Fight of the Night main event battle between Jamahal Hill and Thiago Santos to multiple knockouts throughout the card, the promotion had plenty of bonus-worthy performances to choose from when it came time to issue extra paychecks. The 100 percent finish rate sparked some generosity from the promotion as it handed out one more Performance of the Night bonus than typically awarded.
After UFC on ESPN 40, four fighters picked up an extra $50,000 for their performances in Las Vegas. Check out the winners below.
‘Performance of the Night’: Bryan Battle
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 06: (R-L) Bryan Battle kicks Takashi Sato of Japan in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
In less than a minute of action, Bryan Battle had his opponent out cold on the canvas. On a night that crowned the winners of The Ultimate Fighter 30, the Season 29 winner knocked out Takashi Sato in just 44 seconds after landing a beautiful head kick. Sato was out on impact and crashed to the canvas, keeping Battle’s unbeaten UFC streak alive. For his efforts, Battle walks away with the first Performance of the Night bonus of his three-fight run with the promotion.
‘Performance of the Night’: Mohammed Usman
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 06: (R-L) Mohammed Usman of Nigeria punches Zac Pauga in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Mohammed Usman’s Saturday night was certainly one to remember. He finished Zac Pauga with a vicious counter left hook in the second round to become the heavyweight winner of TUF 30, joining his brother Kamaru Usman as the first sibling winners of the reality show format. In addition to earning the TUF trophy and the UFC contract, Mohammed earned a Performance of the Night bonus for flattening Pauga, starting off his UFC career with an extra $50,000 in the bank.
‘Performance of the Night’: Geoff Neal
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 06: (L-R) Geoff Neal punches Vicente Luque in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Geoff Neal turned in the statement performance of his UFC career thus far by becoming the first man to knockout Vicente Luque. The bout served as the co-main event, and certainly delivered on its promise of an exciting fight. Neal hurt Luque repeatedly throughout the first two rounds, and in the third, he put together a furious combination of strikes, including multiple uppercuts before sending his opponent to the mat one last time. For his efforts, Neal pockets the second Performance of the Night bonus of his career.
‘Fight of the Night’: Jamahal Hill vs. Thiago Santos
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 06: (L-R) Thiago Santos of Brazil and Jamahal Hill trade punches in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
The light heavyweight main event bout was appropriately placed at the top of the card as it delivered an incredible slugfest between two top 10 fighters. Jamahal Hill and Thiago Santos traded heavy strikes early and often, setting the tone for a wild fight. Both fighters had their moments landing big strikes in the opening rounds. Santos went to a wrestling approach in the third, but in the fourth round, Hill would get back to his striking excellence and find a way to hurt Santos. After getting his opponent rocked, Hill poured on the pressure and didn’t stop punching until the referee finally saw enough. For their efforts, both fighters walk away with an extra $50,000.