The bout that many viewed as UFC Fight Night 117’s true main event was also the evening’s most entertaining bout.
Strawweight contenders Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha banked $50,000 apiece for “Fight of the Night” in their co-headlining affair at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Friday night. Gadelha started well, getting the better of Andrade during exchanges in round one. However, Andrade took over down the stretch, as she slammed her opponent to the mat repeatedly and unloaded with punishing ground-and-pound in rounds two and three. While Gadelha hung tough, it was Andrade who emerged with a clear-cut unanimous decision triumph.
Meanwhile, Ovince St. Preux’s third career Von Flue choke submission netted him a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” paycheck in the official main event. “OSP” sprawled on an early Okami takedown and settled in half-guard with his foe hanging on to a guillotine. That allowed St. Preux to secure the choke, move to side control and get the tapout 1:50 into the opening frame.
Elsewhere, kickboxing star Gokhan Saki didn’t disappoint in his promotional debut, capturing a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his first-round knockout of Henrique da Silva at light heavyweight. Just as Saki appeared to be slowing down, the Turkish fighter landed a powerful left hook with his back against the fence to put da Silva away at the 4:45 mark of round one.