Tony Ferguson and underdog newcomer Landon Vannata stole the show at UFC Fight Night Sioux Falls.
The two lightweights received $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses for their co-main event encounter on Wednesday night, which included a “Round of the Year” candidate in the opening stanza. While Vannata appeared to stun Ferguson during a few exchanges, “El Cucuy” survived and submitted his short-notice foe with a brabo choke at the 2:22 mark of round two.
Meanwhile, John Lineker was spectacular in the evening’s headliner, earning a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his first-round knockout of Michael McDonald. “Hands of Stone” rocked his foe early and remained on the offensive, eventually trapping McDonald near the fence and sealing the victory with a left hook and follow-up ground strike 2:43 into round one.
Finally, Louis Smolka continued to establish himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the flyweight division, earning a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” for his technical knockout victory over Ben Nguyen. After a back-and-forth opening round saw both fighters have their moments in grappling exchanges, Smolka took over in round two, battering his foe with ground-and-pound to earn a stoppage 4:41 into the period.