Carla Esparza not only became the first UFC women’s strawweight champion on Friday night at The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale in Las Vegas, she also led the charge on the post-fight fighter bonuses.
Many people were picking Rose Namajunas to defeat Esparza in the TUF final, even though Esparza was the Invicta FC champion before coming to the UFC. She certainly didn’t leave any doubters, though, after she dominated Namajunas.
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Esparza took Namajunas down at will and eventually submitted her with a rear-naked choke in the third round, securing a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
The other Performance of the Night bonus went to Yancy Medeiros, who continued to establish himself as a top lightweight, used a guillotine choke to take Joe Proctor out inside the first round of their fight.
The Fight of the Night honors went to Jessica Penne and Randa Markos, who each made it all the way to the semifinal round of the tournament. Markos was doing a tremendous job winning most of the stand-up exchanges, but Penne continually took Markos down to her world on the mat, eventually winning the fight by unanimous decision.
Penne and Markos each scored a $50,000 bonus for the award.