Bonus Coverage | Every Bonus From 2022 (2024)

Performance of the Night: Muhammad Mokaev

“Uncle Dana; 50 Gs!” beckoned Muhammad Mokaev after opening the UFC London card—and his UFC career—with a beautiful 58 second guillotine choke, set up by a perfectly timed knee to the chin of his opponent Cody Durden. It was the second fastest submission in the history of the flyweight division.

Both men had been jawing at each other during fight week, and it was Manchester’s Mokaev—perhaps the most decorated amateur fighter in the UFC—who backed up his words. At 21, he dreams of being the youngest UFC champion, and with a few more performances like he had tonight, he might have a chance.

Performance of the Night: Paul Craig

It was a story arc that almost perfectly mirrored Paul Craig’s fight in the very same building four years earlier vs Magomed Ankalaev. After taking a severe beating for three rounds, Craig pulled out a last-second submission when his opponent dared to go to the ground with him.

RELATED:Paul Craig Post-Fight Interview

Fast forward to 2022, and it was Nikita Krylov seemingly having his way with the Scotsman, landing absolute sledgehammers to Craig’s head while he lay flat on his back in the Octagon. Commentator Paul Felder remarked that Craig even looked like he might be out. But as Krylov went to the ground to finish his attack, that was where “Bearjew” seemed to be lying in wait as he executed a brilliant triangle choke from his back. Truly another bonus-worthy effort if ever there was one.

Performance of the Night: Ilia Topuria

Five inches shorter, seven inches less in reach advantage and down on all the scorecards heading into the second round weren’t enough factors to deter Spain’s Ilia Topuria from upsetting English favorite Jai Herbert in front of the stunned O2 crowd.

RELATED:Ilia Topuria Post-Fight Interview

A clean right hand just over a minute into the second round sent Herbert to the canvas and sent Topuria to the microphone where he wasted no time in calling out another hometown favorite, Paddy Pimblett, with whom he has been beefing with of late. Judging by the reaction of the crowd, he’s not the only one who would welcome that fight.

Performance of the Night: Makwan Amirkhani

Makwan Amirkhani got back to doing what he does best: winning by anaconda choke. Needing only 57 seconds vs England favorite Mike Grundy, "Mr. Finland" earned his third anaconda choke submission in UFC competition and his third in three wins. Only lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has as many. It was also the rare UFC bout that featured no punches landed.

"If you give me your head I will take it home," Amirkhani would say backstage. "I feel unstoppable."

Performance of the Night: Sergei Pavlovich

Sergei Pavlovich returned after almost three years away and earned a first-round stoppage of Shamil Abdurakhimov. Pavlovich spent the early part of the fight feelings things out before cracking his foe with a right hand. After Abdurakhimov recovered, Pavlovich uncorked another right hand and swarmed his opponent earning a stoppage with less than a minute left.

With only one professional loss and twelve first-round knockouts, the heavyweight is steadily gaining ground on the division’s elite.

Performance of the Night: Molly McCann

With her spinning back elbow knockout of Luana Carolina, Molly McCann became just the fourth UFC fighter to earn that distinction (she joins Ricardo Ramos, Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim, and Jiri Prochazka).

RELATED:Molly McCann Octagon Interview

Wielding visible emotion from the start with the apparent entirety of O2 Arena behind her, there was a feeling from the first punch landed that McCann wasn’t going back to Liverpool without a win.

"I've got them Irish/Scouse lungs in me, so I'm ready to punch all night," she would say after the win, but she only needed a shade over two rounds to set up the early frontrunner for best KO of 2022.

Performance of the Night: Paddy Pimblett

With perhaps the biggest pop of any fighter on the UFC London card, Liverpool’s Paddy Pimblett made his walk to the Octagon with the weight of massive expectations and he delivered on every one of them with his first round submission of Kazula Vargas. It’s impossible at this point to ignore that a star is very much in the making.

RELATED:Paddy Pimblett Post-Fight Interview

“It’s the beginning, the middle and the end that you get from him,” said commentator Michael Bisping as Pimblett made his way back to the locker room through a sea of adoration and high-fives. “He hypes the fight like nobody else. The walkouts are incredible. The fights deliver excitement, and then afterwards on the microphone as well. He really is the complete package.”

Performance of the Night: Arnold Allen

There’s no denying the heart and the ability that Dan Hooker has to take punch, but he met the wrong opponent for his return to featherweight as he encountered a buzzsaw named Arnold Allen.

RELATED:Arnold Allen Octagon Interview

“These boys woke up and chose violence,” shouted UFC announcer John Gooden as both men swung for the fences from the opening bell. It was Arnold, however, that controlled the speed and the output. Unable to escape the barrage, the referee stepped in to stop the onslaught before the first frame was finished. Capping a nine-fight win streak, Allen is now an undeniable problem at 145 lbs. He called out Calvin Kattar as a possible next opponent in his post-fight interview.

Performance of the Night: Tom Aspinall

After a night that featured finish after finish, it was difficult to imagine what either man in the main event could do to top it, but Tom Aspinall rose to the challenge. With the added pressure of fighting in front of UFC fans for the first time in his career—at home no less—the rising heavyweight phenom set to work battering Alexander Volkov with his speed before landing him on his back and submitting him with a straight arm lock less than four minutes into the fight.

RELATED:Tom Aspinall Octagon Interview

Knocking on the door of a top five ranking, the pride of Manchester called out Tai Tuivasa, noting that it wasn’t only Aussie’s who enjoyed celebrating with a beer after a win, as Aspinall himself proceeded to do with fans as he left the Octagon.

Bonus Coverage | Every Bonus From 2022 (2024)
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