Michelle Waterson, Paul Craig, Leslie Smith and Irene Aldana all went home with $50,000 bonus checks following UFC on Fox 22 on Saturday night.
After a year and a half on the sidelines, Waterson received “Performance of the Night” honors for her first-round submission of Paige VanZant in the evening’s headliner. “The Karate Hottie” executed a beautiful head-and-arm throw from the clinch before taking her opponent’s back and securing a body triangle. From there, Waterson was able to find a rear-naked choke to win via technical submission 3:21 into the first frame.
Elsewhere, Octagon debutante Paul Craig garnered the evening’s other “Performance of the Night” bonus with a second-round submission of Luis Henrique da Silva in a preliminary light heavyweight scrap. The former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts titlist pulled guard, trapped his foe in a triangle choke before transitioning to an armbar to elicit the tapout at the 1:59 mark of round two.
Finally, Leslie Smith and Irene Aldana captured “Fight of the Night” honors for their preliminary slugfest at 135 pounds. While Aldana had her moments, it was Smith’s pressure and volume that ultimately won out, as she dropped her Mexican foe in the first frame and remained on the attack from there to win a unanimous decision.