Post-UFC 185: And the Bonus Goes to…

Ross-pearsonThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Dallas Saturday night (Mar. 14, 2015) with UFC 185, producing an incredible night of action that saw two titles change hands. Following the action, the promotion awarded four $50,000 checks to four competitors for ‘Performance of the Night’ honors. And without further ado, UFC 185’s bonus-award winners were… Rafael dos Anjos earned Performance of the Night honors for his dominant, five-round unanimous decision victory over Anthony Pettis. The controlled the fight from the get-go and dethroned Pettis, becoming the UFC’s new Lightweight Champion, and the first ever Brazilian to hold the belt. It was an impressive victory for the huge +450 underdog who nearly everyone counted out, and he will continue to impress in his next outing, which will likely be a rematch against the winner of UFC 187’s Donald Cerrone vs Khabib Nurmagomedov. Joanna Jedrzejczyk earned Performance of the Night honors for her destruction of Carla Esparza in the co-main event of the evening. The Polish striker blasted Esparza on the feet, defended her takedown attempts and ultimately knocked her in the second frame to become the UFC’s second ever Strawweight Champion. She is the third UFC fighter to ever capture a championship (first Bas Rutten and second, Andrei Arlovski) and the first of Polish descent. Making history, “Joanna Champion” remains undefeated and looks forth to successfully making her first UFC Strawweight title defense. Ross Pearson earned Performance of the Night honors for his second round knockout of Sam Stout in the headliner of the FX preliminary card for UFC 185. After a closely contested first round where the Brit got the better of the Canadian, Pearson proved why he is “The Real Deal” in the second, where he dropped Stout with a vicious counter and followed up with a couple more shots to get the stoppage. It was a solid outing for the Brit, and a pitcture-perfect way for him to return to the win column. Beneil Dariush earned Performance of the Night honors for his second round submission of Daron Cruickshank on UFC 185’s preliminary card on FX. After a closely contested first round, where Dariush got the better of Cruickshank, he sealed the deal in the second when the fight hit the mat, immediately displaying his superior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and ultimately taking Cruickshank’s back to sink in the rear naked choke and earn the tap. It was a very impressive performance by Dariush, and a big victory for him. He now rides a three fight winning streak over three very tough opponents and will hope for ranked opposition in his next outing, as he plans in breaking into the division’s top 10 by the end of the year. Other noteworthy performances: – Jared Rosholt defeated Josh Copeland via TKO in the third round of action. After facing some trouble in the first round, “The Big Show” came on strong in the second, dominant “Cuddly Bear” with his superior wrestling and ground and pound. It was more of the same in the third, until he ultimately forced the referee to step in and halt the action. This is Rosholt’s best UFC performance to date, and a great way for him to return to the win column. – Ryan Benoit defeated Sergio Pettis via knockout in the second round of action. “Baby Face” returned from a very long layoff and had a case of ring-rust, as he decisively lost the first round. He came back stronger in the second, and his striking appeared to be more on-point. Over a minute into the second frame, he landed a hook on Pettis’ chin during an exchange, and that was the beginning of the end. Pettis dropped, and Benout pounced. The referee was late with the stoppage, and Benoit threw an unnecessary butt-kick afterwards, which he went on to immediately apologize for. – Joseph Duffy was very impressive in his promotional debut, defeating an outmatched Jake Linsdey via TKO in the first round of action. After picking up his first UFC at 155-pounds, he now contemplates a move down to the featherweight division. – Germaine de Randaemie returned to action following an extended layoff and defeated Brazilian Larissa Pacheco via TKO in the second round of action. “The Iron Lady” returned to action and also the win column following the extended layoff, and proving to be the superior striker in the contest, she took home her second UFC victory.

Written by Gabe Killian

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