The first UFC event to air on ESPN is in the books. Heavyweight Francis Ngannou scored a 26-second finish over former champion Cain Velasquez in the fight card’s main event in Phoenix, Ariz. on Sunday. Following the 12-fight card, the fight promotion announced the recipients of the fighter bonuses.
Fight of the Night honors went to welterweights Vicente Luque and Bryan Barberena for their main card war. Luque took the fight to Barbarena landing combinations early in the first round but Barberena scored a knockdown. Luque quickly recovered and threatened on the ground with submission attempts. Lugue forced Barbarena to a knee in the second frame with a knee to the body.
The fight was a back and forth battle with both landing power shots. As the clocked ticked down in the final seconds of the fight, the two engaged in a toe-to-toe exchange. Lugue stunned Barberena with a combination and then put him on the canvas with a knee to the body and chin. He finished Barberena with a series of left hands with six seconds remaining in the fight.
It’s been 14 years since a fighter with the famous last name Gracie won inside the Octagon. Featherweight Kron Gracie made his promotional debut on Sunday against UFC veteran Alex Caceres. He lived up to his family name by winning via submission 2:06 of the first round earning himself an extra $50,000.
Luke Sanders collected a Performance of the Night bonus for his second-round knockout of former bantamweight champion Renan Barao. Sanders connected with a left hand early in the second frame that sent the Brazilian crashing to the canvas.
UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez took place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. The 12-fight card featured six fights that went the distance, three that resulted in submission finishes, and three knockouts.