Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega put on a show in the Octagon in the UFC 266 headliner, and both men received a little extra compensation for their efforts at the end of the evening.
Volkanovski and Ortega garnered “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their featherweight championship bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. While Volkanovski ultimately prevailed via unanimous decision behind a relentless pace and volume striking, he endured a few precarious moments in the bout, most notably a pair of tight submission attempts in the third frame. Both men continued to stand in trade until the final horn in a clash that will undoubtely end up on some year-end awards lists.
Elsewhere, Merab Dvalishvili captured a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus by virtue of his come-from-behind triumph against Marlon Moraes in a preliminary bantamweight tilt. After nearly being finished by strikes in Round 1, the Georgian fighter regained his wits and gradually imposed his will through takedowns and ground-and-pound. Dvalishvili continued his assault in Round 2 and put Moraes away with punches at the 4:25 mark of the period.
Finally, Chris Daukaus earned the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award thanks to a stoppage of Shamil Abdurakhimov in a preliminary heavyweight affair. Daukaus dropped his adversary with a left hook in Round 1 before flooring the Russian with a right early in the second stanza. Follow-up punches and elbows sealed the victory for Daukaus 1:23 into Round 2.
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