Rafael dos Anjos’ move to the welterweight division is paying dividends in more ways than one.
The former lightweight champion earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his second consecutive 170-pound triumph, a first-round submission of Neil Magny in a featured bout at UFC 215 on Saturday night. The Brazilian put Magny on the canvas with a leg kick early, moved to top position and eventually passed guard and locked in an arm-triangle choke for the tapout at the 3:43 mark of round one.
Elsewhere, Henry Cejudo received the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” paycheck for a second-round technical knockout of Wilson Reis in a flyweight contest. Cejudo landed multi-punch combinations, kicks and knees to the body before dropping his foe with a right hand and finishing the contest with punches on the mat 25 seconds into the second period.
Finally, Jeremy Stephens and Gilbert Melendez garnered “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their featured featherweight scrap. Stephens attacked Melendez’s lead leg early and often, leaving “El Nino” barely able to stand by the conclusion of round one. Despite being hobbled, Melendez kept coming forward, but Stephens was able to tee off with punches to the head and body, in addition to the leg kicks, to capture a clear-cut decision triumph.