UFC president Dana White revealed the recipients of the performance-based bonuses from UFC 273 during the event’s post-fight press conference on Saturday.
Fight of the Night: Gilbert Burns vs Khamzat Chimaev
The People’s Main Event delivered on its immense expectations as welterweight contenders Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimaev went to war for three rounds.
With questions and hype buzzing around Chimaev, Burns gave the phenom everything he could handle early, stuffing takedowns and cracking right back with “Borz.” The pace was high with a combination of heavy exchanges and entertaining grappling scrambles. Late in the first round, Chimaev switched to a southpaw stance and dropped Burns with a power jab. “Durinho” recovered in the second, and the two resumed their wild striking. At the end of the round, Burns potentially landing the best shot of the night in the second round when he unleashed a sweeping right hook that dropped Chimaev before Chimaev ended the round with a takedown. Chimaev bounced back and continued with heavy pressure, and although it seemed like Burns was fading, the two continued to battle to the end much to the joys of the Floridian crowd. Ultimately, the judges gave Chimaev the unanimous decision victory, solidifying the young upstart as a real contender in the division.
Performance of the Night: Alexander Volkanovski
“The Great” got one step closer to putting “est” at the end of his moniker with a clinically dominant performance in his third defense of his title. From the jump, Volkanovski controlled the pace of the fight against Chan Sung Jung, peppering “The Korean Zombie” with jabs from distance and consistently disrupting his rhythm. Volkanovski put all his skills on display, taking Jung down at will and cracking him with punches up top. Even as Jung got more aggressive, Volkanovski coolly countered, and in the third round, Volkanoski dropped Jung with an emphatic right hand and huge follow-up shots. Although Jung made it out for the fourth round, it didn’t take long for Volkanovski to put the finishing touches on his masterpiece, earning the stoppage seconds into the frame.
Performance of the Night: Aleksei Oleinik
Heavyweight submission wizard Aleksei Oleinik provided a vintage performance to pick up yet another tapout win and his 60th professional win with a first-round scarf hold against Jared Vanderaa. It was a classic performance from the 44-year-old as he waited for his chance to get to the ground and methodically worked his way to a neck-crank variation with just over a minute left in the first frame.