UFC 278 Bonuses: Leon Edwards banks a bonus to go with his belt
UFC president Dana White announced the recipients of the performance-based bonuses during the UFC 278 Post-fight Press Conference on Saturday. Leon Edwards, Paulo Costa, Luke Rockhold, and Victor Altamirano took him the $50,000 incentives.
Fight Of The Night: Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold
With some bad blood simmering, Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold engaged in a chaotic, bloody and stunning 15-minute war that ended in a unanimous decision win for “The Eraser” and the end of Rockhold’s career.
The first round started with Costa applying his patented pressure, and the Brazilian busted open Rockhold’s nose early. Rockhold, to his credit, stood firm and found some openings as well. He switched levels and grappled Costa, who engaged with him on the mat enthusiastically. The second round showed more of the same, and it seemed like Costa was turning the momentum around and Rockhold withered, but the former champion bit down on his mouthpiece and showed his toughness for the remainder of the fight. It was a one-sided decision, but one that also reminded everyone of Rockhold’s grit one more time before he called it a career.
Performance Of The Night: Leon Edwards
My, oh my, Leon Edwards. “Rocky” flipped the MMA-world on its head with a fifth-round head kick to knockout pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman and become the welterweight champion of the world.
The strike seemingly came out of nowhere. For the better part of five rounds, the game Birmingham-representative did his best to thwart Usman’s pressure, but the champion was cruising to a decision. Until, that is, Edwards feinted and lifted his left leg to Usman’s head, ending the fight with less than a minute to go, becoming the first Jamaican-born UFC champion and the second UK champion ever.
Performance Of The Night: Victor Altamirano
Despite some early adversity, Victor Altamirano displayed his superior power and speed to turn the tide and earn a first-round stoppage over Daniel Da Silva. As Da Silva built momentum, Altamirano hit the Brazilian with a knee to the body that crumpled him, and he was able to find the ground-and-pound finish shortly afterward.