Rose Namajunas was completely dominant, but Paige VanZant somehow kept on coming.
That combination was enough to earn Namajunas a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for her victory in the UFC Fight Night headliner at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Thursday night. Namajunas thoroughly outclassed VanZant in all facets, battering her with clean shots on the feet, landing multiple takedowns and passing guard with ease. Still, VanZant kept fighting until “Thug Rose” was finally able secure a rear-naked choke at the 2:25 mark of round five.
Meanwhile, Michael Chiesa and Jim Miller captured “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their lightweight co-main event showdown. In a back-and-forth fight, Chiesa managed to escape heel hook and kneebar attempts from Miller in the second frame before eventually scrambling to his foe’s back to get the fight-ending rear-naked choke at the 2:57 mark of round two.
Finally, Tim Means earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for a resounding second-round knockout of John Howard in a preliminary welterweight scrap. After a solid opening frame, “The Dirty Bird” connected with a crisp left hook that instantly floored Howard before landing one follow-up blow on the canvas to finish the job 21 seconds into round two.