Tonight’s (Sat., January 28, 2017) UFC on FOX 23 main card from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado delivered a wild mix of hard-hitting action for MMA fans, and as a result, each winner of the four featured bouts deservedly took home a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.
The first justifiably went to main event winner Valentina Shevchenko, who shocked talented grappler Julianna Pena with a second-round armbar victory (watch full video highlights here) that should line her up for a title fight with current champion Amanda Nunes.
Not to be outdone by any means, rising weltrweight veteran Jorge Masvidal finally arrived as a force in the octagon after years as a talented under-the-radar competitor by stopping surging hometown favorite Donald Cerrone in the co-main event. ‘Gamebred’ had ‘Cowboy’ in major trouble towards the end of the first round, where many felt Herb Dean could have -and perhaps did – call off the bout. But the contest was allowed to continue on, and on obviously still-rocked Cerrone was put out of his misery by a vicious onslaught of body shots.
Touted heavyweight freight train Francis Ngannou earned the third bonus by securing his fifth straight finish to start his UFC career by claiming his biggest scalp ever in former champion Andrei Arlovski with a massive first-round uppercut.
Finally, featherweight prospect Jason Knight continued his rise by submitting veteran Alex Caceres with a picturesque choke in the second round.