UFC 215 emanated tonight (Saturday, September 9, 2017) from the Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, main-evented by a rematch between women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. Their closely contested bout, which Nunes took by split decision, did not take home any bonus money.
The Fight of the Night went to Jeremy Stephens and Gilbert Melendez for their scrap to kick off the main card. Speaking of kicking, Stephens did plenty of it, badly damaging Gil’s lead leg in the first round with low leg kicks. Melendez would soldier on, repeatedly picking himself up off the canvas when another kick took out his leg. Compromised though he was, Melendez continued to move forward and take the fight to Stephens, eating more than his fair share of punches for his trouble. But his refusal to go quietly earned him and Stephens matching $50,000 bonus checks.
The Performance of the Night bonuses went to main carders as well, as Henry Cejudo and Rafael dos Anjos took home an extra $50,000 for finishing their opponents.
Cejudo had grappling ace Wilson Reis in trouble from the jump with his powerful striking and impenetrable takedown defense. Early in round two, a Cejudo right cross rocked Reis and sent him crashing to the canvas. Follow-up right hands sealed the first finish of Cejudo’s UFC career.
Dos Anjos put the welterweight division on notice by submitting Neil Magny with an arm-triangle in the very first round. His sophomore effort at 170 was even more impressive.
His sophomore effort at 170 was even more impressive than his debut in which he decisioned Tarec Saffiedine. A leg kick tripped Magny to the ground and RDA pounced into top position. From there, he methodically advanced position to the mount, where brutal ground and pound helped him frame the fight-ending choke.
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