Joaquin Buckley could have received the UFC’s entire allotment of bonus money on Saturday night and few outside of those competing on the card would have complained.
As it stands, Buckley received a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for a “Knockout of the Year” candidate against Impa Kasanganay in a preliminary middleweight contest at UFC Fight Night 179 in Abu Dhabi. After Kasanganay caught a kick from his opponent, Buckley capitalized with a jumping spinning back kick to the face. The blow rendered Kasanganay unconscious before he hit the canvas, and the contest ended at the 2:03 mark of Round 2.
Meanwhile, headliner Cory Sandhagen received a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for a spectacular knockout of his own. The Elevation Fight Team product finished former World Series of Fighting champ Marlon Moraes with a spinning wheel kick and follow-up punches 1:03 into the second round of their featured bantamweight encounter.
Elsewhere, the rejuventated Tom Breese pocketed a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” check on the strength of a quick finish of the previously unbeaten K.B. Bhullar in a preliminary middleweight encounter. Breese dropped his opponent with a devastating jab and sealed his victory with a barrage of hammerfists 1:42 into the opening stanza.
Finally, Chris Daukaus received the card’s fourth $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for making short work of Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira in a preliminary heavyweight clash. Daukaus dropped the Brazilian once with a left hook, battered him with punches and elbows and floored his foe with another left hook to force the stoppage 45 seconds into the first frame.