The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Abu Dhabi on Friday for its first event there since UFC 112 in April of 2010. It was a mixed night of performances, spanning from frustrating stoppages to full-duration decisions to a stunning main event knockout at the du Arena on Yas Island.
With three knockouts on the card, it couldn’t have been easy for UFC officials to narrow down the post-fight awards, but they did it, handing out two Performance of the Night bonuses and one Fight of the Night honor with each winner getting a $50,000 bonus on top of his pay.
Roy Nelson put on an amazing display, knocking out former Pride and UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in their headlining bout. Sending Big Nog sprawling, flat on his back, Nelson’s knockout scored him one of the Performance of the Night honors.
The other one went to Ramsey Nijem. Handing Beneil Dariush the first loss of his career, stopping him via TKO late in the opening round.
Fight of the Night honors went to the night’s co-main event between Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Guida categorized the bout as an exciting grappling match, which it primarily was, but no one seemed to notice much of a lack of striking, as the entertaining match-up didn’t disappoint.