A deep field of candidates meant a couple of fighters left out in the cold, but it should be no surprise that Jan Blachowicz and Jimi Manuwa earned Fight of the Night at UFC London.
In a night with several worthy bonus contenders, the UFC had a difficult task in front of it. Not one, but two fights ended in the final second of their respective bouts. One came via submission, the other TKO. Then there was the masterful performance of Alexander Volkov in the main event, a performance that marked his arrival in the title picture. UFC London, in short, had plenty of bonus-worthy options. Yet only one was an absolute given: the co-main event of Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz. That fight was a lock from Fight of the Night before it was even over.
Manuwa and Blachowicz were meeting for the second time at UFC Fight Night 127 in London on Saturday. It was a curious sort of rematch that few were interested in. Yet in the cage, the pair fought as if looking to prove those disinterested naysayers wrong. Poland’s Blachowicz busted up Manuwa’s nose early. Gushing blood, Manuwa gutted it out, and stayed in the fight through to the bitter, gory end, his power always a threat. Both men bruised and battered the other, yet neither broke. If ever there were a fan friendly fight, Manuwa vs. Blachowicz 2 was it.
Thus the lack of surprise at its selection as Fight of the Night. As for the Performance of the Night bonuses, the UFC announced Saturday that they were awarded to Alexander Volkov and Paul Craig. That left a pair of Danny’s — Roberts and Henry — out in the cold, for their first round finishes on the preliminary card. Also left out was Leon Edwards, who like Craig finished his fight in the final second. For Edwards, it was a late TKO. More impressive, however, was Paul Craig forcing a tap from Magomed Ankalaev in the very last second of their light heavyweight fight. Craig had been well behind on the scorecards, but proved once again that in MMA, anything can happen.
Volkov, meanwhile, outlasted Fabricio Werdum, smartly avoiding his submission game, evading his traps and eventually stopping the former champion.
All four fighters will receive $50,000 U.S. for their efforts at UFC London.
— UFC (@ufc) March 17, 2018