UFC 243 bonuses: Israel Adesanya rewarded for championship-winning knockout

Robert Whittaker falls after taking a counter-punch from Israel Adesanya at UFC 243
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Israel Adesanya is now the undisputed UFC middleweight champion and unsurprisingly his performance was more than worthy of a bonus.

With a spectacular second-round finish of Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday, Adesanya unified their respective titles, snapped Whittaker’s nine-fight win streak, and improved his own MMA record to 18-0.

At the evening’s post-fight presser, Adesanya was announced as one recipient of a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus check, with the other going to newcomer Yorgan De Castro. The UFC 243 Fight of the Night award went to Brad Riddell and Jamie Mullarkey.

In seven UFC appearances, Adesanya has collected six fight night bonuses.

De Castro, a heavyweight who recently earned a UFC contract on the Contender Series, had the fastest finish of the evening, blasting Justin Tafa with a right hand 2:10 into the main card opener.

On the ESPN2 preliminary portion of the show, Riddell and Mullarkey made the most of their UFC debuts, going back-and-forth for two rounds before engaging in a wild and bloody brawl in the third that had Marvel Stadium roaring. Riddell would go on to claim a unanimous decision victory.


I’m glad Mullarkey got 50K after taking so much damage

At least the extra cash helps ease the pain for all the brain damage he took that fight. Great war!

Izzy showed incredible composure in this fight.

He deserved the bonus for knocking out a legit champion in such emphatic and stylish fashion. Izzy didn’t just take the belt, he owned it.

Rob’s game plan seemed to be to close his eyes and swing...

…not sure why the commentary team mentioned his name and cerebral in the same sentence. He looked like he was going to get ko’d after about 30sec of opening round. Good performance by Israel who looked clear calm and composed throughout.

If he'd caught him

then everyone would be saying that he cracked the code and derailed the hype train. He probably thought that the way to beat him was the same way The Chris beat Silva (the first time, not that nastiness in the rematch). Just keep throwing and try to aim where his head is likely to move to when he dodges. Should absolutely have had another strategy in place to fall back on, but I can see where maybe him or some of his coaches thought that might be the way to do it. Plus, fighting at home, in front of family, friends and so many fans, he probably wanted to get the big, impressive knockout and someone wrongly told him that his striking was superior.

Can't argue with any of those bonuses. All well deserved. But...

I continue to believe that the POTNs should be given to every fighter who deserves one, even if the cheapskates at UFC would have to reduce the amount of the bonus to do so. The fact that there are at least two POTNs already tells you that the award is not given for the performance of the night but, rather, for an outstanding performance; otherwise there would only be one POTN per card. So, change the name of the bonus to "Outstanding Performance" and if, say, 5 fighters merit one, give all 5 bonuses.

Well said.


The only explanation I can think of is that it’s a hangover from the days when it was submission, knockout and fight of the night bonuses.
If you start giving out bonuses to everyone who had a good performance, you run the risk of having someone who had a fight that was really hard on them wondering why they didn’t get one as well, even if they won via a sloppy sub on a tired opponent after getting beaten for most of the fight.

Just pay them more instead of watering down bonus which is guessing they would do if forced to hand out more.

Only thing really miss is sub of the night. I still think it can be a good motivation to ground fighters if they knowing subbing guy can get extra cash. When most fighters rather stand and trade and hope they get ko or potn as easier path.

Izzy did a great job so hats off to him....

… and my respect for Rob is unwavered. The way he seemed to handle the loss is a testimant to the mans character.

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