In her second fight back since giving birth to her first child, Mackenzie Dern led the charge on the UFC on ESPN 9 performance bonuses.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Las Vegas on Saturday, while Dern returned to form.
The UFC re-launched combat sports on its home turf in Nevada following a three-fight stint over an eight-day span in Florida earlier this month. It was the first combat sports event in the state since the world went into a virtual shutdown because of the global coronavirus crisis. UFC on ESPN 9 took place at the promotion’s own Apex facility.
Dern hadn’t fought since losing a decision to Amanda Ribas in October of 2019. That was her first fight after giving birth to a daughter on June 9, 2019.
Looking to get back on track, Dern did just that in her UFC on ESPN 9 main card opening bout opposite Hannah Cifers. Though Cifers started off well, Dern quickly turned the tables, locking up a leg and sinking a kneebar submission midway through the opening round.
Dern notched her first victory after becoming a mom, but also earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Joining her for Performance of the Night honors was main eventer Gilbert Burns, who put on a tremendous performance to earn a dominant decision over former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
The Fight of the Night was a difficult one for UFC president Dana White and his crew to decide, but they eventually settled on a preliminary bout between Tim Elliott and Brandon Royval. After asking the press core their opinion, White admitted that he would also be “taking care of” Billy Quarantillo and Spike Carlyle, who were the other athletes vying for Fight of the Night honors.
Elliott and Royval will each receive $50,000. White didn’t divulge what he would do for Quarantillo and Carlyle.
(Photo courtesy of UFC and Getty Images)
UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns Performance Bonuses
- Performances of the Night: Mackenzie Dern
- Performances of the Night: Gilbert Burns
- Fight of the Night: Tim Elliott vs. Brandon Royval