Noche UFC took a number of hits in the weeks leading up to the card, with both Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Kelvin Gastelum, and Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Daniel Rodriguez falling through.
Despite the turmoil and loss of star power, the Fight Night event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas still provided some satisfying action in the end — and a number of big storylines. The draw between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko in the main event will be one of those, while another will no doubt be the return of teenager Raul Rosas Jr. to the win column.
The 18-year old steamrolled an overwhelmed Terrance Mitchell in under a minute in their main card bantamweight fight on Saturday, dropping Mitchell with a solid punch. Ground n’ pound rained down like a torrential downpour from there, with Mitchell met with punches no matter how he tried to scramble free.
The TKO win over Rosas came in just 54 seconds and saw him shake off the first loss of his professional career. For his efforts, the Mexican teen is now $50,000 richer, as is every finishing fighter on the night. Opening up their pocketbook the UFC dished out a Performance of the Night bonus to every fighter with a stoppage at Noche UFC.
That means that in addition to Rosas Jr., Loopy Godinez, Charlie Campbell, Daniel Zellhuber, and Roman Kopylov all go home with bonuses. Godinez got the job done in a spirited fight with a gutsy Elise Reed, which saw Reed fight off a nasty arm-bar attempt in the opening round only two be submitted in the second frame. Kopylov, meanwhile, ended Josh Fremd’s night with some nasty body shots.
Zellhuber submitted veteran Christos Giagos with an anaconda choke, while newcomer Campbell secured a violent TKO finish of Alex Reyes, who was returning from a six-year layoff in the fight.