UFC on ESPN 22 Bonuses: Whittaker, Gastelum Secure ’Fight of the Night’ Honors

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 18, 2021

On an evening where UFC on ESPN 22 nearly tied a record for most split decisions on a fight card, Robert Whittaker’s clear-cut verdict over Kelvin Gastelum was an easy choice for “Fight of the Night.”

Whittaker and Gastelum each received $50,000 for Saturday’s middleweight headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Although Whittaker picked his opponent apart with crisp punching combinations and head kicks, Gastelum was a game opponent throughout the contest, and that made for a compelling 25 minutes of action. Ultimately, Whittaker was too much, as he swept the scorecards by identical 50-45 tallies.

Earlier, Gerald Meerschaert set a UFC middleweight submission record, earning himself a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus in the process. Meershaert secured his sixth submission in the Octagon by choking Bartosz Fabinski unconscious 2:00 into the opening round of their preliminary middleweight contest.

Finally, Tony Gravely garnered the card’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” check by virtue of his technical knockout win over Anthony Birchak in the evening’s opening bout at bantamweight. Gravely dropped his opponent twice in the contest, and on the second occasion landed two follow-up hammerfists on the canvas to earn the stoppage 1:31 into the second frame.

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