UFC on ESPN 21 bonuses: Grant Dawson leads pack of four $50K winners
With six finishes in 10 fights, the UFC brass had plenty of options to choose from for its post-fight bonus winners at UFC on ESPN 21.
In fact, instead of going with a “Fight of the Night” and two “Performance of the Night” awards, the UFC instead went with four individual finishes for $50,000 each at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Take a look at the four “Performance of the Night” winners below.
Grant Dawson (17-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) was one second away from a decision win over Leonardo Santos (18-4-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) – but of course, with MMA judging, a fighter seldom knows. With Santos on his back after a late takedown, Dawson postured up and dropped a right hammerfist on Santos’ chin. The Brazilian was stunned, and a second fist put him out cold. A couple more were icing on the cake – including one that sent Santos’ mouthpiece flying with just one second left in the fight. The knockout tied the latest finish in UFC history and kept Dawson unbeaten in the UFC.
Max Griffin (17-8 MMA, 5-6 UFC) needed less than half a round to take out Song Kenan (16-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a devastating manner. Griffin won for the second straight time with a right hand that wobbled Kenan, then a 1-2 that put him on the canvas. A final punch landed to the back of the head, but the referee already was on the way in to stop the fight.
Bruno Silva (11-5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) used his wrestling to control J.P. Buys (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a standout wrestler himself, at times in the first round. Then he went back to the well in the second. After he knocked Buys down, Buys somersaulted back to his feet. But Silva stayed relentless with the punches with Buys on his knees against the fence. Buys told the referee he was surviving without issue and managed to get back to his feet, and it looked like he was recovered – until Silva drilled him again and knocked him down, and that was enough.
Adrian Yanez (13-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) may have been biding his time against Gustavo Lopez (12-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC), but he saved his best for the last round. Not long into the frame, Yanez and Lopez had a quick exchange. And while Lopez was throwing a big looping right hand, Yanez threw a right of his own – except it was shorter, faster and more powerful. Yanez landed on the button, and Lopez fell backward. Yanez took a look, then walked the other way for a one-punch walkoff KO. The Dana White’s Contender Series graduate got his second UFC knockout in two fights just 27 seconds into the third round.