Following Saturday’s UFC San Diego fight card, UFC officials announced the recipients of the performance-based bonuses.
Fight Of The Night: Nate Landwehr vs David Onama
Pechanga Arena in San Diego was on its feet at the final bell of Nate Landwehr vs David Onama, giving a roaring standing ovation upon realizing they had just witnessed an instant classic and possible frontrunner for 2022 fight of the year honors. Before reading the scorecards, announcer Joe Martinez uncharacteristally compelled the crowd to stand up and give a second deafening ovation, which they eagerly supplied.
The scorecards, including one 28-28 tie, tipped in favor of Landwehr this evening, but it’s still shocking the fight went the full 15 minutes. Wild, weird, and violent, both men had their moments, flush with showboating, barroom-style brawling and the pure will of survival makes this sport such an unpredictable joy.
Performance Of The Night: Marlon Vera
Marlon Vera remains one of the deepest, most dangerous threats at 135-lbs and his main event KO victory over former champion Dominick Cruz perfectly embodied why.
Despite being down on the scorecards heading into the fourth round, the Ecuadorian dug deep and stayed patient until he could find a home for his trademark kicks, the same kicks that have stymied nearly every opponent he’s faced in the division.
The stunning low-kick KO that brought the raucous crowd to its feet earned Vera the most bantamweight finishes in UFC/WEC combined history. He’s tied for second overall in bantamweight victories (12, the same as champion Aljamain Sterling), and he’s still only 29 years of age.
Performance Of The Night: Tyson Nam
After a frustrating string of cancelled fights and a loss, Tyson Nam came roaring back with a stellar first round KO victory over Ode Osbourne that sealed his first Octagon victory since 2019. Timing some jumps he saw from his opponent, Nam capitalized with some veteran timing of his own, dropping Osbourne before the clock hit three minutes.
“When I seen him do it, I said ‘Ok, he’s going to do it again.’ And when he did it again, I had a sudden surge,” he explained, pointing to his bicep, “to whip this thing again.”
“I’m back,” he added. “I know this feeling from before.”