On a night where Glover Teixeira proved that age isn’t about to slow him down, and that heart is that immeasurable quality that can be a difference-maker in fights, the bonus money went to the next generation. The returning Khalid Taha, short-notice opponent Raoni Barcelos, sophomore heavyweight Alexander Romanov, and Georgia’s Giga Chikadze were the four bonus winners at UFC Vegas 13.
None have come close to hitting double digits in terms of fights inside the octagon.
Khalid Taha and Raoni Barcelos’ bantamweight bout was billed as a potential Fight of the Night from the outset. Doubters would be forgiven for questioning that marketing angle, as Taha was returning from a year-long suspension for diuretic use, and Barcelos had been on the sidelines nearly a year himself. But the fight lived up to the hype, with the Brazilian showcasing his hands in addition to his superb ground game. Taha gutted it out to the end, though Barcelos took home a one-sided decision. And they did, indeed, win Fight of the Night.
Romanov, in just his second UFC fight, impressed once again, pulling off the first forearm choke in UFC history (and the third of his career). Improving to 13-0, it was the Moldovan’s tenth first-round finish. That gave him one of the night’s two Performance of the Night bonuses.
Georgia’s Giga Chikadze, meanwhile, set up his finish of Jamey Simmons with a head kick. The small European nation has produced some big names in Chikadze, Merab Dvalishvili, and Roman Dolidze. After the win Saturday, Chikadze told UFC President Dana White that he was seeking a co-main event spot next. Whether he gets that or not remains to be seen, but he did pick up the other $50,000 US Performance bonus.