Post-TUF 26 Finale: And the Bonus Goes to...
The Ultimate Fighting Championship was live from Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, December 1 for The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale. When the action concluded, the promotion handed out $200,000 in bonus checks to four fighters for 'Performance of the Night' honors. The betting lines to wager on such props were made available at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
TUF 26 Bonuses went to...
Roxanne Modafferi and Nicco Montano earn Performance of the Night (Formerly Fight of the Night)
In the night’s main event, flyweights Modafferi and Montano went a grueling twenty five minutes in an entertaining contest. With a UFC title on the line, both fighters put in a high work rate that made the contest very competitive through the first ten minutes. In the third round, Montano began to take control of the fight utilizing her pressure grappling game. Montano stretched her lead in the championship rounds so that the result was inevitable when the final bell rang in an action packed title fight. With the victory, it will be interesting to see who gets the first crack at Montano. Will it be another fighter from the TUF season or will it be a fighter already in the UFC that is changing weight classes? Either way, expect Montano to defend her belt in early spring 2018.
Gerald Meerschaert earns Performance of the Night (formerly, Knockout of the Night)
In one of the more intriguing contests of the night, grapplers Gerald Meerschaert and Eric Spicely took the cage in a middleweight contest. While both fighters excel on the mat, it was the striking game of Meerschaert that was the difference in this bout. Meerschaert focused in on left kicks aimed at Spicely’s mid-section. He landed a few in round two that slowed down his opponent, but it was a thudding kick that landed clean to Spicely’s liver region that dropped him immediately. It was one of the cleanest body kicks on record and a dark horse contender for knockout of the year.
Brett Johns earns Performance of the Night (formerly, Submission of the Night)
While the actual victor was not shocking, the method in which Brett Johns won is the reason he received a bonus at TUF 26. The Welshman got into a scramble in the opening minute of his bout with Joe Soto latching in a calf slicer to force Soto to tap. It was just the second calf slicer victory in UFC history and the first once in the UFC in over five years. The first calf slicer submission win was by Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira over Eric Wisely in January 2012.
Other noteworhy result(s):
Ryan Janes earned his second win in the UFC in a thrilling comeback victory over Andrew Sanchez. As the biggest underdog on the card with closing odds of +450, Janes was knocked down twice in the first round and nearly finished. He came back strong outworking Sanchez in the second round and eventually getting a TKO over a fatigued Sanchez in the third round.