In the UFC’s final event of its second stint on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov put on a masterful performance in the final fight of his career.
The victory not only cemented Khabib’s legacy, it also earned him one of the UFC 254 performance bonuses.
Performance of the Night: Khabib Nurmagomedov
While most would have thought that Justin Gaethje would outgun Khabib on the feet, the champ used a stinging jab and sharp combinations to negate his foe’s power punches.
He also used his hands to set up his all-important takedowns, one of which cemented the fight.
Khabib took Gaethje down late in the first frame, but couldn’t find a finish before the clock wound down. In the second round, however, he again put Gaethje on the canvas, this time sinking a triangle choke that put the lights out.
It’s no surprise that, looking as good as he ever has in the Octagon, Khabib walked away with a $50,000 UFC 254 Performance of the Night bonus.
Performance of the Night: Magomed Ankalaev
In a rematch that has seen the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 force several restarts, Magomed Ankalaev finally put a stamp on his rivalry with Ion Cutelaba.
Ankalaev won their first fight in February of this year, but the bout was considered controversial, as the referee stopped the fight when he felt Cutelaba was out on his feet. Cutelaba immediately protested, and the UFC quickly moved to rebook the fight.
Though it didn’t happen nearly as soon as originally planned, Ankalaev made sure to leave no doubts at UFC 254.
He laid Cutelaba out at 4:19 of the first round, leaving him flat on his back.
The victory earned Ankalaev the other UFC 254 Performance of the Night bonus.
Fight of the Night: Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood
The UFC 254 Fight of the Night honors went to prelim competitors Casey Kenney and Nathaniel Wood. The two fight an exciting back and forth bout that went the distance with Kenney taking the unanimous nod from the judges.
Both fighters went home with an additional $50,000, however.
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UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Performance Bonuses
- Performance of the Night: Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Performance of the Night: Magomed Ankalaev
- Fight of the Night: Nathaniel Wood vs. Casey Kenney
Related Video > Fighters react to Khabib’s surprise UFC 254 retirement
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