Following Saturday’s UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington event at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UFC officials announced the recipients of the fighter bonuses from the 13-fight card.
Fight of the Night honors went to the co-main event matchup between middleweight contenders Gastelum and Souza. Souza grounded Gastelum in the opening round and worked to secure a submission finish. Gastelum escaped the dangerous position with the submission specialist and roared back in the second frame to score a knockdown. An exhausted Souza came out in the final frame and did all he could do, but Gastelum remained in front of him returning fire. The back-and-forth fight was scored in favor of Gastelum by split decision.
Former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his second-round knockout of Vitor Belfort. Machida delivered a highlight finish, landing a front kick to the face of Belfort one minute into the second frame that left Belfort sprawled out on the canvas.
Russian Alexey Oleynik took home a bonus for his first-round Ezekiel choke finish of Junior Albini on the preliminary fight card.
Oliynyk took damage in the early going and was cut and bleeding when he applied the choke while standing. Albini tried to free himself as the two went to the ground, but Oliynyk only cinched the choke tighter. Albini was forced to tap out. It was Oliynyk’s eleventh career finish by Ezekiel choke.
UFC 224 featured 13 fights with only two going the distance. Six bouts ended in knockouts and five ended with submissions.