Brian Ortega made history on Saturday, and he also made himself some extra pocket change.
“T-City” lived up to his reputation as a fight finisher, recording his sixth consecutive win by knockout or submission with a first-round uppercut KO of former UFC champion Frankie Edgar in the co-main event of UFC 222 in Las Vegas. The 27-year-old Californian became the first man to stop Edgar, who has been competing professionally since 2005, and he was given a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for the feat.
Also receiving a Performance of the Night bonus was UFC newcomer Alexander Hernandez. Facing lightweight contender Beneil Dariush on a week’s notice as a replacement for an injured Bobby Green, the little known Hernandez came out guns blazing and put Dariush down for the count just 42 seconds into round one.
The Fight of the Night award went to Sean O’Malley and Andre Soukhamthath for their three-round battle on the main card that O’Malley squeaked out via unanimous decision despite suffering a leg injury that left him unable to stand as the scorecards were being read. For the majority of the contest, O’Malley showed off the slick striking skills that have made him a hot prospect, and he needed every move in his arsenal to hold off the gritty Soukhamthath.