Some nights, a barnburner fight calls for an obvious “Fight of the Night” award.
Others, there are so many great performances that you have to go all “Performance of the Night.”
UFC on ESPN 16 on Saturday was an example of the latter. Four competitors had fantastic finishes that earned them “Performance of the Night” awards of $50,000 apiece: Germaine de Randamie, Kyler Phillips, Dusko Todorovic and Luigi Vendramini.
UFC on ESPN 16 took place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card aired on ESPN and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.
Without further ado, then, a look at each of the evening’s winners:
Performance of the Night: Germaine de Randamie
The former UFC women’s featherweight champion has long been known as one of the women’s game’s best kickboxers, but she’s not often cited for her ground prowess.
That changed Saturday, as de Randamie (10-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) choked Juliana Pena with guillotine at 3:25 of the third round in an entertaining scrap.
The tech sub was her first career submission win, and earned her a second career post-fight bonus.
Performance of the Night: Kyler Phillips
The Torrance, Calif., native is coming into his own, as he’s now won two in a row. And the pace at which he works is going to give the bantamweight division fits.
Phillips (8-1 MMA. 2-0 UFC) was all over Cameron Else from the jump Saturday night. Else made it to the second round, but not much longer, as Phillips connected on a head kick, followed up, and delivered ground and pound until it was waved off at the 44-second mark.
That’s Phillips’ first postfight bonus, and if he keeps it up, probably not his last.
Performance of the Night: Dusko Todorovic
Todovoric (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is batting 1.000 on bonuses after earning “Performance of the Night” in his UFC debut.
His middleweight bout with Dequan Townsend was wild for awhile, with both giving and taking. But Todovoric was poised and turned the fight in his favor, before finishing it off with a ground and pound flurry of his own.
The fight was waved off at the 3:15 mark of the second, and we suspect we’re going to hear more from the rising Serbian standout.