UFC 287 Bonuses See Israel Adesanya, Rob Font Rewarded for Big Finishes

UFC 248 Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Israel Adesanya shot back to the top of the mountain at UFC 287 in Miami on Saturday night.

Six months prior, “The Last Stylebender” had been put away by an arch-rival of leviathan-like proportions in Alex Pereira, a nemesis who had dogged him since his kickboxing days. Two wins in kickboxing, one a finish, and a come-from-behind TKO win at UFC 281 in November had many thinking that Pereira simply had Izzy’s number.

Adesanya, however, proved otherwise on Saturday, putting away the Brazilian in the second round of their rematch. Playing possum along the fence, Adesanya allowed his opponent to unleash a few shots before answering back with a well-placed right hand that sent the champ reeling. A second blow dropped Pereira, another grazing him on the way down before the “hammerfist from the Gods” connected to disconnect “Poatan” from the earthly plain, at least momentarily.

Afterwards, there stood Israel Adesanya, firing imaginary arrow after arrow into his fallen foe. The middleweight title once again belongs to the man chasing Anderson Silva for middleweight greatness.

Saturday’s effort earned Adesanya one of the night’s two Performance of the Night bonuses. Rob Font took home the other, for a big knockout of Adrian Yanez on the main card.

Fight of the Night, meanwhile, went to the fantastic middleweight battle between Kelvin Gastelum and Chris Curtis. It was TUF 17 champ Gastelum coming away with the much-needed decision win.

All four fighters will pick up $50,000 for their efforts. Per UFC President Dana White, speaking at the UFC 287 post-fight press conference, attendance at the Miami-Dade Arena was 19,032, for a gate of $11.9 million. That’s good enough for sixth all time for the promotion, beating the most recent New York event.