If Francis Ngannou keeps doing things like he did Friday night, there will be many more big pay checks coming in the future.
The French heavyweight prospect earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for his kimura submission win over Anthony Hamilton in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 102 on Friday night in Albany.
Ngannou (9-1) used the kimura grip to take Hamilton down, then held it, got into position and torqued on Hamilton's arm to force the tap. It was an extremely technical sequence to someone who is still learning mixed martial arts. Ngannou, 30, only picked up the sport four years ago.
The other $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus went to Gerald Meerschaert, who beat Joe Gigliotti with a beautiful anaconda choke in the first round on the prelims Friday night. Meerschaert (24-8), a Roufusport product, was making his UFC debut.
Gian Villante and Saparbek Safarov both won $50,000 for Fight of the Night at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov. Villante ended up finishing Safarov by TKO in the second round, but it was a wild, back-and-forth brawl up until that point. Safarov absorbed a lot of punishment, but also knocked Villante down in a crazy first round.