Amanda Nunes was the unlikely star of UFC 200.
Nunes overwhelmed Miesha Tate to claim the bantamweight title in Saturday’s headliner at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and that dominant effort also earned her a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. The Brazilian rattled and bloodied Tate with a crisp jab and hard right hands before eventually taking her opponent’s back to secure the fighting-ending rear-naked choke 3:16 into round one.
Cain Velasquez returned to vintage form, earning a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for his first-round demolition of Travis Browne in a featured heavyweight tilt. The former champion was his usual relentless self as he battered the 6-foot-7 Hawaiian, ultimately forcing a stoppage due to ground-and-pound with three seconds remaining in the period.
Elsewhere, Joe Lauzon become the first person to truly finish Diego Sanchez with strikes (his other TKO defeat was a doctor stoppage), earning a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award in the process. Lauzon sat Sanchez down with a left hand early and swarmed from there, not letting up until the bout was halted 1:26 into round one.
Finally, Gegard Mousasi captured the evening’s fourth $50,000 performance check, as he made short work of Thiago Santos in a preliminary middleweight affair. The former Strikeforce champion set the wheels in motion for his victory by blasting Santos with an uppercut as the Brazilian attempted to return to his feet, and a few follow-up punches brought an end to the contest at the 4:32 mark of round one.