Nine Performance Bonuses — Not a Typo — Awarded at UFC London

Paddy Pimblett, UFC London
Paddy Pimblett, UFC London ceremonial Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

No, your eyes do not deceive you. Following a historic return to the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday, UFC President Dana White decided to open up his pocketbook and hand out a Performance of the Night bonus to every single fighter with a finish on the card.

Given that UFC London had nine finishes, that was nine fighters who suddenly became $50,000 richer.

Though few are likely to complain, no Fight of the Night was awarded as a result.

That said, it’s hard to find fault with White on this one. The London card was a smashing success, thrilling fans from the outset thanks to a strong promotional debut to Russian-born Brit Muhammad Mokaev. The flyweight prospect caught Cody Durden with a flying knee, then tapped him with a guillotine, making it all look rather easy.

While a couple of decisions would follow, Paul Craig got the submissions going again with yet another triangle choke, in a fight he was losing, on Nikita Krylov. That in turn was followed by Makwan Amirkhani putting Mike Grundy to sleep with an anaconda.

From there, Ilia Topuria scored a comeback KO on Jai Herbert, then “Meatball” Molly McCann lit up Luana Carolina, working her over like a heavy bang in the opening round alone. The Liverpool native continued to batter the longer, taller fighter in the second, seemingly throwing everything but the kitchen sink. She also failed to throw a spinning back elbow — until the third, when she landed just that for one of the most sensational knockouts since the UFC introduced the female weight classes.

Paddy Pimblett, Arnold Allen, and Tom Aspinall capped off the night with a trio of finishes that electrified the crowd. And while Allen (TKO) and Aspinall’s (arm-bar) wins were more meaningful in terms of rankings and title pictures, it was Paddy “the Paddy” stealing the show when he submitted Rodrigo Vargas with a rear-naked choke. Once again, Pimblett was rocked early in the fight, once again, he recovered and found a way to win.

Following the event, White committed to returning to the UK again later this year, thanks to the rousing success of UFC London — which was already being called the biggest night in UK MMA history.