The UFC 234 main event bout between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva was more competitive than expected, and for their quality work, the middleweights received “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece.
Adesanya earned a unanimous decision over Silva at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday night, but “The Spider” was competitive for stretches of the fight. After Adesanya got off to a quick start, rocking the Brazilian with a short right to the jaw in the opening stanza, Silva rallied to connect with some combinations in round two. “The Last Stylebender” pulled away down the stretch, however, outlanding the former champion in the final stanza to earn the nod on the scorecards.
Elsewhere, Montana De La Rosa captured a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for her submission of Nadia Kassem in a featured flyweight tilt. De La Rosa quickly took Kassem down in the second stanza, where she moved to mount. Eventually she would transition to a fight-ending armbar at the 2:37 mark of the period.
Finally, Devonte Smith garnered the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” for his quick finish of Dong Hyun Ma in a preliminary lightweight scrap. Smith put his foe on all fours with a punching combination and then finished the contest with more punches and hammerfists to the side of the head 3:53 into the first round.