UFC 253 bonuses: Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz cash in with championship performances

Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz shined brightly on Saturday and their championship performances did not go unnoticed.

The two title fight winners at UFC 253 were both awarded $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses following the event, and the Fight of the Night bonus went to flyweights Brandon Royval and Kai Kara-France.

Adesanya won a lively, if one-sided, main event fight against rival Paulo Costa to retain his middleweight championship. After a tactical first round, Adesanya dazed Costa with a lightning-fast punch and finished with follow-up strikes for the TKO victory. The thrilling knockout was in stark contrast to Adesanya’s heavily-panned unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero in his first title defense.

In the co-main event, Blachowicz won in similarly dominating fashion, brutalizing Dominick Reyes with kicks to the body before finishing with punches in round two. With the victory, Blachowicz claimed a vacant UFC light heavyweight title, the first man not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier to hold that belt since March 2011.

Royval and Kara-France put on one of the best rounds of the year on Saturday with an opening frame that saw Royval staggered early. However, seconds later he threw a spinning backfist that rocked Kara-France and from there the action hardly slowed down. Royval put an end to a wild fight with a guillotine choke in round two.