While there were a couple of contenders for Fight of the Night at UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday, ultimately, it was four individual efforts that were rewarded.
The ESPN card was hit with the loss of two fights in the span of a little over 24 hours, with Julija Stoliarenko collapsing (twice!) during Friday’s weigh-in, and Gregor Gillespie vs. Brad Riddell removed last minute due to COVID-19 protocols. That led to the promotion of Max Griffin vs. Song Kenan to the co-main event, and Griffin certainly made the most of the added exposure.
Earning his second straight finish, California’s Griffin put Kenan down with some crushing punches early in the opening round. In the process, he put together his first winning streak in the UFC — a promising sign from an underrated welterweight who has competed against some of the best in the division, including Colby Covington, Thiago Alves, and Mike Perry.
Grant Dawson’s last second (literally) hammerfist finish of Leonardo Santos was also rewarded Saturday. As was Adrian Yanez’s knockout of Gustavo Lopez. His third consecutive finish, starting with his appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, Yanez is quickly gaining a reputation for highlight reel stoppages.
The final $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus at UFC Vegas 22 was awarded to Bruno Silva, who scored a second-round TKO of promotional newcomer JP Buys. It was the final fight on Silva’s UFC deal, and his first win in the organization.