The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first trip to mainland China featured eight legitimate stoppages, so competition was bound to be fierce for bonus money. To boot, two of the four recipients are Chinese natives.
Following the conclusion of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, the promotion announced its slate of four fight-night bonus winners. With UFC brass not anointing any bout as “Fight of the Night” for the 12-fight bill, four “Performance of the Night” bonuses were handed out.
Victorious middleweight headliner Kelvin Gastelum, Jingliang Li, Zabit Magomedsharipov and debuting Yadong Song will all leave China $50,000 richer due to their Octagon exploits.
Gastelum, 26, needed just 2:30 to nuke former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who suffered his second defeat in just 21 days, following his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217 on Nov. 4. Bisping was replacing legend Anderson Silva, who was flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a potential drug violation earlier this month. Gastelum delivered a devastating pair of hooks that dropped “The Count” and pounced with ground-and-pound for the stoppage. It is Gastelum’s fourth UFC fight night bonus.
Li, China’s preeminent MMA fighter at the present moment, won his fourth in a row inside the UFC, knocking out Zak Ottow at 2:57 of the opening round, dropping him with a right cross then a wild volley of strikes on the floor.
Magomedsharipov dominated Sheymon Moraes en route to a third-round anaconda choke win to claim his second UFC bonus in as many appearances, while the 19-year-old Song stepped in for injured teammate Pingyuan Liu on just over a week’s notice, choking out Bharat Khandare with a guillotine at 4:16 of Round 1.