UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya continued his dominance at UFC 253 on Saturday night. Jan Blachowicz earned his first UFC title. And Brandon Royval remained on the fast track to a flyweight title shot.
Performance of the Night: Jan Blachowicz
Blachowicz, with his win over Dominick Reyes, laid claim to the UFC light heavyweight championship that was recently vacated by Jon Jones. He made it look easy, stopping Reyes with punches late in the second round of their co-main event battle.
Blachowicz’s championship victory also earned him a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Performance of the Night: Israel Adesanya
The other Performance of the Night honors went to Adesanya, who dominated Paulo Costa in a fight that promised fireworks. There were fireworks, but they were all ignited by Adesanya.
He laid into Costa from the opening bell, chopping at his lead leg. That set up Adesanya’s hands, which eventually sent Costa crashing to the canvas in the second round.
Fight of the Night: Brandon Royval vs. Kai Kara-France
Joining them were Royval and his opponent, Kai Kara-France, who put on the Fight of the Night performance.
They two cracked each other, quite literally simultaneously, but it was Royval that outmaneuvered Kara-France en route to an early second round guillotine submission.
Royval got the victory, but he and Kara-France each netted an additional $50,000 for their efforts.
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa Performance Bonuses
- Performance of the Night: Jan Blachowicz
- Performance of the Night: Israel Adesanya
- Fight of the Night: Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval