Marvin Vettori wasn’t originally expected to be in the UFC on ESPN 19 headliner, but his presence was profitable for both himself and Jack Hermansson.
Vettori and Hermansson received “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for an entertaining five-round middleweight affair at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Vettori very nearly ended the fight in Round 1 after dropping Hermansson, but the “Joker” recovered to make the remaining 20 minutes interesting. Ultimately, “The Italian Dream” emerged with a unanimous decision triumph.
Elsewhere, Gabriel Benitez garnered a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” paycheck thanks to a first-round stoppage of Justin Jaynes in a featured lightweight encounter. Benitez sent Jaynes to the canvas with a powerful step-in knee and finished the contest with follow-up strikes 4:06 into Round 1.
Finally, Jordan Leavitt earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for a memorable Octagon debut against Matt Wiman. Early on, Leavitt shot for a double-leg takedown, picked his foe up and slammed him hard to the canvas, knocking Wiman unconscious 22 seconds into Round 1. It was just the 12th KO via slam in UFC history.
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