UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2 was arguably the deepest fight card of the year from the promotion. If the post fight bonuses are any indicator, the line-up certainly delivered.
UFC officials broke from the traditional layout of 1 Fight of the Night and 2 Performance of the Night awards, instead issuing 2 Fight of the Night bonuses.
On the UFC 218 main card on pay-per-view, former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez and former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje delivered the fireworks that everyone expected.
They blasted each other from the opening bell with Gaethje crushing Alvarez’s lead leg, drilling it with kick after kick, as well as likely breaking a bone in Alvarez’s face, as his right cheek was incredibly swollen by the end of the fight.
Alvarez was relentless, however, continuing to fight through the damage, slugging Gaethje with body shots and finally dropping him face first with a knee to the chin late in the third round. It was the first loss of Gaethje’s career.
Both men, however, walked away with a $50,000 bonus check for the Fight of the Night honor.
The other fight that earned the same deal for its participants was a preliminary bout between Alex Oliveira and Yancy Medeiros. Much like the Alvarez vs. Gaethje bout, Oliveira and Medeiros came right at each other, neither one backing down.
Just when it looked that one fighter was taking over, like when Oliveira dropped Medeiros, the other would bounce right back, as Medeiros did, dropping Oliveira.
It was a bout that many were immediately calling a Fight of the Year candidate, so there was no surprise that they were one of the two Fight of the Night honors.
Both were tough fights and all four participants in the Fights of the Night were transported to the hospital for further medical assessment and treatment.
- Fight of the Night: Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
- Fight of the Night: Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros