For being a makeshift co-main event, David Teymur and Lando Vannata put on a pretty entertaining show.
Elevated to second billing on Friday after the interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov was scrapped, Teymur and Vannata received “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their work at UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. While Vannata rocked Teymur in the opening frame, the Swedish kickboxer proved to be more effective in exchanges down the stretch to earn a unanimous verdict in an action-packed 155-pound affair.
Elsewhere, Darren Elkins earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his improbable comeback victory over Mirsad Bektic in a preliminary featherweight duel. Bloodied badly and down big on the scorecards after two rounds, “The Damage” managed to stop Bektic behind a flurry of right hands and a head kick near the fence at the 3:19 mark of round three.
Finally, another come-from-behind effort netted the evening’s other $50,000 performance bonus, as Iuri Alcantara was rewarded for his second-round submission of Luke Sanders at bantamweight. Sanders battered his Brazilian opponent with ground-and-pound for much of the fight, but Alcantara was able to roll for a kneebar and secure the tapout 3:13 into the second frame.