UFC Vegas 27 Bonuses: Esparza Rewarded For Key Finish

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Carla Esparza UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 21: Carla Esparza poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on May 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza stated her case for a title shot at UFC Vegas 27 on Saturday.

In doing so, she also picked up one of the night’s two Performance of the Night bonuses.

Esparza, who had won four straight with nary a finish in sight, dominated China’s Yan Xiaonan in the Fight Night card’s co-main event. Meeting little resistance, she put Xiaonan on her back in the second round, and pounded her out for the TKO finish. With the pair representing the two leading candidates for a title shot, Esparza not only picked up an extra $50,000 — but potentially a shot at gold.

Of course, Dana White may have other ideas. “I don’t know what we’re going to do next. If we do the rematch [against Weili Zhangi] or if we give it to her,” White said during the event’s post-fight show (h/t MMA Fighting).

The other Performance of the Night bonus, meanwhile, was given to Bruno Silva. And for good reason. The Brazilian not only made short work of opponent Victor Rodriguez, knocking him out in one minute flat, but came equipped with a sign asking for a $75,000 bonus.

Of course, last week’s UFC 262 card saw bonus winners awarded bigger checks. Silva will have to settle for the usual 50K.

Fight of the Night at UFC Vegas 27 went to the main card heavyweight tilt between Jared Vanderaa and Justin Tafa. The bout saw Vanderaa pick up his first win inside the octagon.

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