The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday, where several of the top fighters on the roster shined, claiming Performance of the Night bonuses, with no single fight standing out for an award.
Francis Ngannou continued his Mike-Tyson-like performances in the heavyweight division by stopping former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at 1:11 of the first round of their headlining bout.
Ngannou stumbled in a shot at the belt when he fought Stipe Miocic and then lost to Derrick Lewis, but has since been back on form, adding dos Santos to his streak of wins over Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez. The quick knockout of dos Santos not only earned a $50,000 bonus for his efforts, but likely positioned him for another shot at the belt following Daniel Cormier’s defense against Stipe Miocic on Aug. 17 at UFC 241.
Not to be outdone by the main event, Joseph Benavidez reclaimed his spot as the top contender in the UFC flyweight division by finishing Jussier Formiga late in the second round of their co-main event rematch.
Benavidez had to overcome adversity in the first round, suffering a cut around his eye, to earn the stoppage and a Performance of the Night bonus at 4:47 of round two.
Alonzo Menifield opened the main card on ESPN with a first-round knockout of Paul Craig. Eryk Anders also scored a quick knockout of Vinicius Moreira on the prelims. Menifield and Anders each went home with an additional $50,000 for their Performance of the Night efforts in Minneapolis.
UFC on ESPN 3 Performance of the Night Bonuses
- Francis Ngannou
- Joseph Benavidez
- Alonzo Menifield
- Eryk Anders
UFC on ESPN 3 Gate and Attendance
- Gate – $952,204.77
- Attendance – 10,123