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UFC 234 bonuses: Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva earns Fight of the Night

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva were thrust into the main event role on short notice, and they delivered.

The duo, originally scheduled for a co-feature bout at UFC 234 on Saturday night, became the headline bout when Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum was scrapped due to Whittaker’s hernia.

And the went it it for a highly compelling 15 minutes at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, with Silva, the former longtime UFC middleweight champion, holding his own against the fighter anointed as the next Silva. Adesanya lived up to his hype in earning a unanimous decision on scores of 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27.

It was also enough to earn the duo some bonus bucks, as the bout was named Fight of the Night, earning each competitor an extra $50,000.

For Silva, who has been with the UFC since 2006, it marked his 14th career post fight bonus. Adesanya, meanwhile, has pocketed four bonuses in his five UFC fights.

There were also a pair of Performance of the Night awards handed out. Montana De La Rosa put on a sweet ground display before submitting Nadia Kassem with a second-round Kimura; and Devonte Smith defeated Dong Hyun Ma via first-round TKO. Both winners take home $50K.

The UFC announced a sellout of 15,238 at Rod Laver Arena, with a gate of $2,470,088.

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