Jon Jones' first finish in more than four years made him $50,000 richer.
The Jackson-Wink MMA product received a “Performance of the Night” paycheck for his third-round stoppage of Daniel Cormier in the UFC 214 headliner at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday night. A head kick and follow-up ground-and-pound brought an end to the contest at the 3:01 mark of round three, helping him regain the light heavyweight championship he never actually lost in the Octagon.
Elsewhere, surging light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir received the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award, as he vanquished another contender in short order, finishing Jimi Manuwa 42 seconds into the opening round of their featured clash. The Swiss fighter buckled Manuwa’s knees with a hook in close quarters, shoved his foe to the canvas and knocked him unconscious with follow-up punches to further establish himself as a person of interest at 205 pounds.
Finally, Brian Ortega and Renato Carneiro received “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their entertaining featherweight scrap. The two men exchanged liberally on the feet, but Ortega capitalized when his opponent shot for an ill-advised takedown in round three, as he locked in a guillotine choke for a tapout at the 2:59 mark.