The UFC was in a generous mood on Saturday night, as six competitors from UFC on ESPN 31 received $50,000 bonus checks.
Rafael Fiziev was an easy selection for one “Performance of the Night” bonus thanks to his “Knockout of the Year” candidate against Brad Riddell in the co-main event. A spectacular spinning wheel kick ended the lightweight bout 2:20 into the third round, giving Fiziev his fifth consecutive triumph at 155 pounds.
Elsewhere, Jamahal Hill earned a “Performance of the Night” check after making short work of Jimmy Crute in a featured light heavyweight bout. In a matchup of former Dana White’s Contender Series competitors, Hill dropped his foe with a right hand early, then finished Crute with a right hook and follow-up ground strike just 48 seconds into Round 1.
Earlier, Clay Guida rallied from the brink of defeat to submit Leonardo Santos, earning a “Performance of the Night” payment in the process. Guida was on the ropes in the opening stanza after Santos hurt him with a kick to the body and flurried with strikes in pursuit of the finish. “The Carpenter” survived the onslaught and quickly grounded a fatigued Santos in Round 2, where he locked in a rear-naked choke for a tapout at the 1:21 mark of the period.
Chris Curtis captured the evening’s fourth performance award with an upset victory over Brendan Allen at middleweight. A body-head combination put Allen on wobbly legs, and then Allen put the finishing touches on his victory with knees and punches against the fence for a stoppage win 1:58 into Round 2.
Finally, Cheyanne Vlismas and Mallory Martin garnered “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for a competitive preliminary scrap at strawweight. Ultimately, superior striking output and movement carried Vlismas to a unanimous decision triumph — her second in UFC competition.
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