Israel Adesanya, Jussier Formiga, Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang each earned $50,000 in fight-night bonuses for their standout performances at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia over the weekend. Adesanya and Formiga won “Performance of the Night” honors, while Matthews and Jingliang were awarded “Fight of the Night”
In what was his octagon debut, Adesanya kept his unbeaten record intact with a second-round TKO over fellow middleweight Rob Wilkinson on the FS1 prelims. Nicknamed “The Last Stylebender”, Adesanya has a decorated kickboxing background, is a former Australia Fighting Championship middleweight champion and has finished all 12 of his professional MMA fights via knockout.
Also on the FS1 prelims, Formiga proved once again why he is considered one of the world’s top flyweights with a third-round submission over Ben Nguyen. The win marked Formiga’s tenth career stoppage by submission. However, it was a spinning backfist from Formiga that initially dropped Nguyen and allowed the BJJ black belt to take his back to sink in the rear-naked choke finish.
Welterweights Matthews and Jingliang battled it out back-and-forth for 15 full minutes on the night’s pay-per-view main card. Matthews hurt and threatened Jingliang with submission attempts in the first and second rounds, and once again dropped him in the third. Jingliang hung tough though and showed a lot of heart, but in the end the judges awarded all three rounds to Matthews for the unanimous decision.