UFC 270 was a card that looked… well let’s be honest, on paper, it didn’t look great. Certainly not worthy of $75, the new price tag for U.S. fans.
As so often is the case, however, a weak card on paper exceeded expectations on Saturday. Finish after finish kept fans in Anaheim thoroughly entertained, and the fights that did go the distance were equally exciting. Looking back, it’s hard to find a dull fight in the bunch.
That made things interesting come bonus time. On a night with plenty of worthy fights to choose from, it was almost a surprise to see the promotion stick with just the usual three post-fight awards. But in the end, two fighters took home Performance of the Night bonuses — Vanessa Demopoulos and Said Nurmagomedov.
For “Lil Monster” Demopoulos, a former stripper, author, and lover of all things jiu-jitsu, the win, and bonus, are the completion of one journey, and the start of another. Demopoulos, a former LFA strawweight champ, had arrived in the UFC last year, up a weight class and defeated in her short notice debut. Saturday, she finally got to show how dangerous she can be, surviving a rough knockdown to submit Silvana Gomez Juarez with a slick arm-bar.
After the fight, she jumped into Joe Rogan’s arms, and no doubt won a lot of fans over with her enthusiasm. The sky’s the limit.
Said Nurmagomedov, fighting for the first time since 2020, just ran through Cody Stamann in the second fight of the PPV card. Seemingly everything the Dagestani threw landed, and he eventually submitted the American wrestler with a guillotine. It all took under a minute.
Fight of the Night at UFC 270 went to the co-main event. That saw Deiveson Figueiredo even his series with Brandon Moreno; through three fights, it’s 1-1-1. Multiple knockdowns sealed the victory for the Brazilian, who called for a fourth fight, in Moreno’s native Mexico, following the win.
Despite no pairing in UFC history ever fighting four times, it’s a bout that makes a whole lot of sense.
All four bonus-winning fighters will receive an additional $50,000 for their efforts.