The UFC 248 main event may have fizzled, but the co-main event delivered even beyond expectations.
Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight championship for the first time in a lackluster affair against Yoel Romero. UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili also made the first defense of her belt, but she and Joanna Jedrzejczyk put on one of the best fights in UFC history.
They were rewarded for their five rounds of all-out war with the UFC 248 Fight of the Night, which added $50,000 to the bottom line of each fighter’s payday.
The two put on a brutal kickboxing clinic that left them bloodied and bruised after five rounds. Both women were transported to a local hospital for treatment following the fight.
Beneil Dariush and Sean O’Malley took home the Performance of the Night honors.
Dariush nearly submitted Drakkar Klose in the first round. Unsuccessful in his submission, he then had to survive a heavy onslaught of Klose offense before knocking his opponent out 1:00 into the second round, earning a $50,000 bonus.
O’Malley returned to the Octagon two years after his last fight, having served out USADA sanctions. He wasted no time shaking off any ring rust there might have been, stopping Jose Quinonez little more than two minutes into their featured prelim fight.
UFC 248 Fighter Performance Bonuses
- Fight of the Night: Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
- Performance of the Night: Beneil Dariush
- Performance of the Night: Sean O’Malley
UFC 248 Gate and Attendance at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
- Gate: $2,742,906.20
- Attendance: 15,077