Saturday’s UFC Austin card marked a big return to the Lonestar State for Dana White and co.
The Fight Night card had a main event that felt a bit understated, overshadowed by a budding feud between co-main event lightweight Bobby Green and headliner Arman Tsarukyan. But Tsarukyan, who had been criticized by Green as “boring,” came through in a big way, knocking out Beneil Dariush in just over a minute at the Moody Center in Austin.
Boring? That electrifying finish capped off a night full of them. And with that in mind, White, the longtime UFC President and now CEO, opened up the pocket books, rewarding every finishing fighter with a Performance of the Night bonus.
Which means, alongside Tsarukyan, Jalin Turner will cash in for knocking out Bobby Green in the co-headliner. The biggest win of Turner’s career was unfortunately marred by a terrible stoppage by the ref, who stepped in so late it felt as if he had an axe to grind with the unconscious Green.
Sean Brady, Dustin Stoltzfus, and Miesha Tate also secured finishes on the night. But nothing was more surprising than back-to-back slam KOs, nearly identical, secured by Drakkar Klose and Cody Brundage.
Jared Gooden had the first finish of the night, a submission in a war with Brazilian welterweight Wellington Turman. And there was one other finish at UFC Austin — in a bout rewarded with Fight of the Night honors. That went to Ihor Potieria vs. Rodolfo Bellato, which saw Bellato earn a TKO finish late in the second.
Bellato did not double up on the bonus money, despite getting the finish. In total, eight Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded at UFC Austin, plus the Fight of the Night bonus. All bonus-winning fighters will pocket an additional $50,000 for their efforts, on top of their show/win money, outfitting pay etc.