The UFC kicked off 2023 with the promotion’s first event in nearly a month at UFC Vegas 67. The card was topped by a familiar face with Sean Strickland stepping in on short notice after he also headlined the UFC’s final card of 2022, and even though it wasn’t the most stacked Fight Night fans were no doubt happy to see the sport’s biggest promotion return to action.
Most of the bouts that did go the full distance didn’t exactly jump out as Fight of the Night material, so the UFC elected to hand out four Performance of the Night bonuses for a few of the night’s best finishes.
Allan Nascimento’s First UFC Finish
There were a total of six finishes at UFC Vegas 67 but only one submission, and that came courtesy of Allen Nascimento during his matchup with Carlos Hernandez.
“Purro Uso” had scored plenty of submission wins prior to joining the UFC, but he began the year with a 1-1 record in the promotion after going the distance in his last two fights. That changed at UFC Vegas 67, as the Brazilian ended up on Hernandez’s back in the first round and locked in a rear naked choke without even taking things to the mat.
The win was Nascimento’s second in a row after spoiling Jake Hadley’s undefeated record last year, and the submission also netted him an extra $50K.
Umar Nurmagomedov Is Only Getting Better
Umar Nurmagomedov entered UFC Vegas 67 as the biggest favorite on the card, but he still managed to win in a way that almost nobody expected.
The 26-year-old boasts the same kind of dominant wrestling that helped his cousin Khabib retire with a 29-0 record, but Nurmagomedov didn’t seem interested in going to the ground during the first round of his fight with Raoni Barcelos. The two bantamweights traded strikes for nearly five minutes before Nurmagomedov dropped the Brazilian with a left hook that ended things shortly before the end of the round.
In addition to extending his undefeated record to 16-0, Nurmagomedov’s first knockout victory since 2017 earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Roman Kopylov Keeps Rolling
Roman Kopylov earned his first UFC victory by stopping Alessio Di Chirico with strikes last September, and he kept the momentum going with his win over Punahele Soriano at UFC Vegas 67.
Although Kopylov did manage to land one takedown, the two middleweights appeared largely content to stand and trade with one another. Soriano entered the matchup after knocking out Dalcha Lungiambula in July and had plenty of finishes on his own record, but “Puna” ate a body kick in the second round that set up a barrage of fight-ending punches.
Kopylov has now won his last two fights after starting his UFC career 0-2, and the 31-year-old also earned his first Performance of the Night bonus for stopping Soriano.
Dan Ige Ends His Skid
Perhaps no fighter at UFC Vegas 67 needed a win as badly as Dan Ige, who carried a three-fight losing streak into his featherweight matchup with the surging Damon Jackson.
After almost two rounds of action that saw both men land nearly the same number of significant strikes, Ige snapped his losing run in sensational fashion. “50K” landed a left hand with just under a minute remaining in the second round that dropped Jackson and left Ige calmly walking off.
The result was Ige’s first win since knocking out Gavin Tucker in March 2021, and the 31-year-old once again lived up to his nickname by earning an extra $50K.
What are your thoughts on the bonus winners from UFC Vegas 67?