Justin Gaethje promised to put on exciting fights upon his arrival in the UFC. Friday night at the TUF 25 Finale in Las Vegas, he delivered. Gaethje put on a thrilling war against Michael Johnson, finishing the durable lightweight in the second round after being rocked several times himself. For his efforts, he’s now $100,000 dollars richer.
In a rare move, the UFC bestowed upon Gaethje both Fight of the Night (shared with Johnson) and Performance of the Night accolades, each worth a cool 50K. It’s hard to argue their decision, as Gaethje’s debut immediately shook up the 155lb weight class. Even champ Conor McGregor, busy preparing to meet Floyd Mayweather in a boxing ring next month, took notice.
It was a star turn for the undefeated Gaethje (18-0), but he wasn’t the only fighter a little richer by the end of the night.
Picking up the other Performance of the Night bonus was Tecia Torres, who scored her first career submission victory, and first career stoppage, with a rear-naked choke against Juliana Lima. Post-fight Torres talked title contention, but also called out Michelle Waterson, whom she was supposed to meet years ago. “Lets go, Mrs. Karate Hottie” the strawweight exclaimed in the cage while speaking to Brian Stann.
The UFC will stay in Vegas another night and hopefully let the success of the main event ride, as UFC 213 takes place at the very same venue later this evening.