On an evening filled with finishes, Kelvin Gastelum, Ronaldo Souza, Lyoto Machida and Alexey Oleynik went home with $50,000 bonus checks for their work at UFC 224.
Gastelum and Souza earned “Fight of the Night” honors for their middleweight co-main event tilt. Gastelum weathered a strong start from “Jacare” to drop his opponent in the second frame and pull out a narrow split-decision triumph over the former Strikeforce titlist.
Elsewhere,Machida just has a knack for giving opponents a kick into retirement, and his latest parting gift earned him a “Performance of the Night” award. Machida used a front kick to the jaw to knock out Vitor Belfort 60 seconds into round two of in his farewell fight, a move that was reminiscent of “The Dragon’s” sendoff to Randy Couture at UFC 129 more than seven years ago.
Finally, Oleynik garnered the evening’s other “Performance of the Night” payment for his first-round submission of Junior Albini in their preliminary heavyweight showdown. The Russian forced a clinch in the center of the cage, framed his patented Ezekiel choke and dragged Albini to the mat. From there, he tightened the hold and secured the tap 1:45 into round one.