In the aftermath of UFC 293, the Ultimate Fighting Championship showered three deserving fighters with a generous dollop of appreciation, handing out a trio of post-fight bonuses. A whopping $50,000 each was bestowed upon these warriors for their spellbinding performances in the vibrant city of Sydney. Let’s dive into the exhilarating tales of the triumphant trio.
First up, in the category of ‘Performance of the Night,’ we have Justin Tafa. Tafa’s journey to glory was not without its share of nail-biting moments. Recalling his initial encounter with Austen Lane, which had resulted in a no-contest due to an unfortunate eye poke, the echoes of uncertainty loomed large. Fate intervened again as Tafa found himself on the receiving end of yet another eye poke.
But this time, the battle raged on, if only for a few fleeting moments. Tafa, channeling his inner warrior, unleashed a devastating left hook that sent Lane crashing to the canvas, bringing the fight to a thunderous conclusion, all within the confines of the very first round. In a night filled with electrifying finishes, this showdown was nothing short of a masterpiece, unequivocally meriting the distinguished Performance of the Night honor.
Next in line, the coveted ‘Fight of the Night’ accolade goes to the sensational clash between Manel Kape and Felipe dos Santos. The stage was set for an enthralling showdown as Dos Santos, making his flyweight debut, fearlessly stepped into the cage to lock horns with the formidable Manel Kape, a seasoned and highly regarded contender.
Dos Santos had initially been slated to contend for a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, but fate had a grander plan as he found himself in the spotlight on the main card of UFC 293, squaring off against one of the division’s elite flyweights. While victory eluded him in his battle with Kape, Dos Santos’s valiant display left an indelible mark, affirming his rightful place among the division’s elite.
The thrilling exchange that unfolded over a heart-pounding 15 minutes left the audience spellbound, earning it the prestigious Fight of the Night distinction and an additional $50,000.
Last but certainly not least, the ‘Performance of the Night’ honor was clinched by none other than the remarkable Sean Strickland.
Strickland’s achievement was no mere stroke of luck or a serendipitous punch landing its mark. It was a masterclass in the sweet science of striking. In a battle of attrition, Strickland decisively outclassed the erstwhile middleweight champion, the revered Israel Adesanya, over the grueling span of five rounds.
Unpopular opinion :— AWUREDO (@AOUREDOO) September 10, 2023
I felt like if the fight had been stopped in round 1, It would have been fair. Izzy took like 30 unanswered shots after getting dropped and even turned away from Strickland. In some other fights, it woulda been stopped imo #UFC293 pic.twitter.com/YmQdoJKwta
It was more than just a victory; it was a virtuoso performance, nearly flawless in execution. Strickland’s triumph against one of the sport’s all-time greats demanded nothing less than an extra feather in his cap, a well-deserved additional $50,000 to accompany his newfound title as the UFC middleweight champion.