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There were no suprises when it came to bonus selections at UFC 253, as Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz, Brandon Royval and Kai Kara France eached received an extra $50,000 for their work in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.
Adesanya earned a “Performance of the Night” award for an impressive stoppage of Paulo Costa in the evening’s middleweight headliner. “The Last Stylebender” chopped away at his opponent’s legs early before flooring the Brazilian with a left hook and sealing his victory with ground-and-pound at the 3:59 mark of Round 2 to retain his 185-pound title.
Meanwhile, Blachowicz garnered the evening’s other “Performance of the Night” check for a second-round technical knockout of Dominick Reyes in a matchup for the vacant light heavyweight crown in the co-main event. The Polish veteran appeared to break Reyes’ nose in Round 2 before dropping him with a left hand behind the ear. From there, Blachowicz unloaded with standing-to-ground strikes until the bout was halted at the 4:36 mark of the frame.
Finally, Royval and Kara-France shared “Fight of the Night” honors for their brief but thrilling flyweight scrap. After a wild opening round that featured a combined three knockdowns, Royval quickly secured a fight-ending guillotine 48 seconds into Round 2.