On a night rife with finishes at UFC Minneapolis, four fighters, including heavyweight Francis Ngannou, pocketed an extra $50,000 in Performance of the Night bonuses.
UFC on ESPN 3 was all about individual accomplishments in the end. The card, commonly UFC Minneapolis, went down Saturday in the Minnesota city, with heavyweights Junior Dos Santos and Francis Ngannou headlining the card. There was no Fight of the Night following the show, but rather, four Performance bonuses handed out.
For many, the main event was a dream match-up: the man with the best boxing at heavyweight, Junior Dos Santos, against the heaviest hitter remaining in the weight class, Francis Ngannou. A former champ taking on a former title challenger. Two of the biggest, most popular names in the division.
In the end, it came down to an error by Dos Santos, who put himself out of position after taking a wild swing at his opponent. Ngannou capitalized, connecting behind the ear of the Brazilian, who didn’t see the punch coming. A few more strikes, and Dos Santos was down and covering up, forcing the ref to wave it off.
With the victory, Ngannou (14-3) now has three straight finishes, the last two against former champs in Cain Velasquez and Dos Santos. He’s once again in the title picture, awaiting the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic II at UFC 241.
The other Performance of the Night bonuses on Saturday went to Joseph Benavidez, Eryk Anders, and Alonzo Menifield. Benavidez finished Jussier Formiga for the second time at UFC Minneapolis, setting up the ending with a head kick. Anders, meanwhile, got back in the win column in a big way with a knockout of Vinicius Moreira. That snapped a three-fight skid for the former LFA champion, who has fought some of middleweight’s best since joining the UFC.
Menifield, for his part, knocked out Paul Craig within a round. All four fighters will pocket an extra $50,000 for their efforts.