The returning Jon Jones and rising star Volkan Oezdemir both won Performance of the Night bonuses at UFC 214 on Saturday. The pair, both of whom secured stoppage victories in their respective light heavyweight bouts, joined Brian Ortega and Renato Moicano as bonus winners; that duo earned Fight of the Night honors. All four fighters will receive $50,000 for their efforts. UFC President Dana White announced the bonuses at the post-fight press conference following the event.
For Jon Jones, his triumphant return was easily the highlight of the night when he stopped arch-rival Daniel Cormier in the third round of their light heavyweight title bout. Staggering Cormier with a head kick, it wasn’t long before the finish came. Unlike the Jones who showed up against Ovince St. Preux a year ago, this Jones appeared to have never lost a step. With the win, Jones reclaimed his throne, and at least inside the octagon, his legacy is intact.
Volkan Oezdemir, meanwhile, continued his unlikely rise to the top of the 205lb division where Jones now rules the roost. Taking all of forty-two seconds to finish off Jimi Manuwa with strikes, there’s a question of whether Oezdemir, with just three fights in the UFC, is ready for a shot at UFC gold. The reality is that only Alexander Gustafsson really sits in front of him, and Gustafsson has fought for the belt twice already.
Fight of the Night honors at UFC 214 went to Brian Ortega and Renato Moicano for their three round war that ended with Ortega securing a submission late in the bout. That guillotine choke secured his fourth straight finish, while Moicano suffered his first career defeat.