Post-UFC on FOX 23: And the Bonus Goes to…

Valentina ShevchenkoThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was in Denver, CO for the sixth time in promotional history last Saturday (January 28, 2017) with UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena. It was an incredible night of mixed martial arts action that saw eight of 12 bouts end inside the distance. After the event concluded, the UFC awarded $50,000 to four fighters for ‘Performance of the Night’ honors. The lines to wager on these props were available at Several Bookmakers. Valentina Shevchenko earns Performance of the Night honors for her second round submission of TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena in the main event of the evening. She proved to be a well-rounded mixed martial artist by getting the better of Pena in the grappling department. At first, by outwrestling her in the first round, then by submitting Pena off her back near the closing of the second round. It was a very impressive performance by Shevchenko, who earned a rematch with the only woman to defeat her inside the Octagon, Amanda Nunes. Except this time, the UFC women’s bantamweight title will be on the line. This is a rematch that fight fans will be chopping at the bits for. Jorge Masvidal earns Performance of the Night honors for his second-round TKO of Donald Cerrone, and a rare double-knockout for Masvidal, as he clearly had Cerrone finished to close out the opening stanza. Now it is back-to-back fights for Masvidal where he has earned interesting TKO victories. A well-deserved $50,000 this time, certainly. Francis Ngannou earns Performance of the Night honors for his first-round knockout of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. Ngannou continues to impress inside the Octagon and keeps climbing up the rankings towards a shot at the division’s gold. Many have him pegged as a future champion. I was saying that prior to his UFC debut, and I continue to pat myself on the back for it, though realistically a losing streak could very well be right around the corner. Jason Knight earns Performance of the Night honors for his second-round rear-naked choke submission of Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres. It was an entertaining, back-and-forth scrap until Knight took Caceres’ back in the second frame and attacked until securing the choke to earn the tap. It was a great outing by Knight, who picked up the victory a year to the day his father passed away, which reminds me of the late Josh Samman’s second-round knockout of Eddie Gordon on the one-year anniversary of this girlfriend’s passing. Other noteworthy performances: – Li Jingliang defeated promotional newcomer Bobby Nash via second=round knockout in what Dana White felt was the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ and said he planned to make sure that they are compensated with a locker room bonus. Jingliang now owns two straight wins in the UFC, with both wins coming via T/KO. – Eric Spicely defeated Alessio Di Chirico with a triangle-choke submission and now enjoys an impressive two-fight winning streak inside the Octagon, with both victories coming by way of tapout. – Jason Gonzalez defeated J.C. Cottrell via first-round Brabo-choke submission to earn his first win in the UFC. It was a solid come-from-behind submission for Gonzalez, who appeared to be trailing at the start of the opening stanza.

Written by Gabe Killian

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