Four fighters, including two of China’s own, are $50,000 richer after UFC Fight Night 122.
With so many great performance to choose from, the UFC decided to forgo a Fight of the Night Award Saturday. Instead, it dished out for Performance of the Night bonuses at UFC Shanghai. Among the recipients, main event winner and former TUF champ Kelvin Gastelum.
Gastelum made short work of short notice replacement and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping in Shanghai. Connecting with a thunderous one-two counter, the right hand snapped the ex-champ’s head back, sending him crashing to the canvas. ‘The Count’ was out, put to sleep by one of the most frustrating fighters in recent memory. The bout lasted less than three minutes.
Gastelum has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career, but has struggled with his weight at times. Bounced from the welterweight division, he struggled to — but eventually did — make weight for UFC Shanghai, hitting the limit on his second attempt. Ultimately, it was the biggest win of his career, and Gastelum is just now hitting his prime. He called for a fight against interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in Perth next February, but that seems premature. Who’s next for Gastelum, at this point, is anybody’s guess.
Also picking up a Performance of the Night bonus was the returning Zabit Magomedsharipov. In his sophomore outing in the UFC, he displayed an incredibly well-rounded skill set, completely outclassing Sheymon Moraes in the featured bout of the UFC Shanghai Fight Pass Prelims. After two and a half rounds of dominance, coach Mark Henry called for a finish, and Magomedsharipov obliged, locking in an anaconda choke to seal the deal.
Afterwards, the budding Russian star called for a bout with the equally flashy Yair Rodriguez. If the UFC is smart, they’ll make that match.
Chinese Fighters Win Big
The remaining two Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded to Chinese standouts Li Jingliang and Song Yadong. Jingliang made short work of Zak Ottow in the evening’s co-main event, flooring him in under three minutes, and jumping into the crowd afterward to celebrate with his family. The victory increased the winning streak for ‘The Leech’ to four in the crowded UFC welterweight division. Nineteen year old Song Yadong picked up the final Performance of the Night bonus. A short-notice replacement, Song finished India’s Bharat Kandare with a front choke in the first round of their prelim fight.
All four bonus winners are $50,000 richer for their efforts, on top of their regular purse (show and win money), and Reebok outfitting pay. The announced attendance for the event was 15,128, a sellout of the Mercedes Benz Arena.