Just when you thought Saturday night couldn’t get any better for Israel Adesanya, “The Last Stylebender” pocketed a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his championship victory over Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.
Adesanya unified the middleweight belts with a second-round technical knockout of Whittaker iin the main event at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. A counter left hook sent “The Reaper” tumbling to his seat, and the City Kickboxing representative finished his defenseless foe with follow-up punches at the 3:33 mark of the period.
Elsewhere, Octagon debutante Yorgan De Castro captured the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” check for a first-round knockout of Justin Tafa in a featured heavyweight clash. A devastating counter right hook from the Dana White’s Contender Series alum put Tafa to sleep 2:10 into the first round.
Finally, Brad Riddell and Jamie Mullarkey garnered “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their preliminary lightweight slugfest. Ultimately, it was Riddell who put his stamp on the bout, knocking his foe’s mouthpiece out twice during wild exchanges in the final stanza en route to earning a unanimous decision triumph.