Justin Gaethje said he was coming to the UFC to provide exciting fights. And boy, did he deliver on his promise.
The former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion had one of the most memorable debuts in UFC history on Friday night. Gaethje and Michael Johnson went at it tooth-and-nail for nearly 10 minutes in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Gaethje pulled away and won via knockout at 4:48 of the second round, putting a cap on a Fight of the Year candidate and improving to 18-0.
And for his efforts, Gaethje was rewarded with a pair of post-fight bonuses. Gaethje earned both Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night honors, adding up to $100,000.
Johnson, for delivering his half of the Fight of the Night, takes home $50,000.
That left room for one more post-fight bonus, and it went to Tecia Torres. The “Tiny Tornado” submitted Juliana Lima in the second round of their strawweight bout, which was good for a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
The UFC announced a crowd of 6,308 a T-Mobile Arena on Friday night, paying a gate of $432,495.