The judges had a busy night at UFC Vegas 58, and with only a few standout results to choose from the UFC returned to their usual standard of awarding 2 Performance of the Night bonuses along with a clear-cut winner for Fight of the Night.
The event’s only heavyweight bout was a matchup between a pair of fighters on losing streaks, but Chase Sherman vs. Jared Vanderaa ended up being an entertaining scrap for as long as it lasted. Just as it seemed like Vanderaa was gaining enough late momentum to potentially earn a decision, Sherman clipped him with a big right hand and poured on strikes until Vanderaa collapsed against the fence.
“The Vanilla Gorilla” snapped a 4-fight losing streak and earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his efforts.
The second Performance of the Night came courtesy of the main event, where Rafael Fiziev looked to book his place in the UFC’s lightweight elite in a matchup with former champion Rafael dos Anjos. Fiziev’s speed advantage was on display early, but it was largely his takedown defense that allowed “Ataman” to jump out to a lead in the opening rounds.
Things got tighter as dos Anjos was able to draw on his championship experience later in the fight, but Fiziev made sure no scorecards were needed when he knocked the Brazilian out at the start of the final round. In addition to earning the biggest win of his career, the 29-year-old also picked up an extra $50K.
UFC Vegas 58 featured several competitive back-and-forth fights, but none had the same excitement and drama as the lightweight bout between Michael Johnson and Jamie Mullarkey.
Opening the event’s main card, Johnson dropped the Australian early in the fight but found himself fighting to survive late in the same round after Mullarkey returned the favor. Mullarkey won the second round on all three judge’s scorecards while Johnson took the third, but it was two judges leaning Mullarkey’s way in that wild first round that gave the 27-year-old a split-decision win.
Whatever arguments people may have about the scoring of the bout, there’s no doubt that it was a worthy Fight of the Night winner and both men earned their $50K bonuses.
What are your thoughts on the bonus winners for UFC Vegas 58?