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Kamaru
Usman
and Rose
Namajunas
authored back-to-back candidates for “Knockout of the
Year” at UFC
261
, and both received some extra financial compensation for
their efforts.

Usman retained his welterweight crown with a knockout of Jorge
Masvidal
in Saturday’s headliner at Vystar Veterans Memorial
Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, earning a $50,000 “Performance of
the Night” award in the process. A right hand from Usman dropped
Masvidal, and several follow-up hammerfists sealed the deal 62
seconds into Round 2, giving “The Nigerian Nightmare” his 14th
straight UFC triumph.

In the co-main event, Namajuas garnered the evening’s other $50,000
“Performance of the Night” check thanks to a title-winning finish
of Weili
Zhang
. “Thug” Rose faked a low kick, then went upstairs with
her lead leg, landing a perfectly-placed head kick on her
opponent’s chin. Namajunas followed Zhang to the mat and finished
the victory with strikes at the 1:18 mark of the opening stanza to
reclaim the strawweight belt.

Finally, Jeff Molina
and Qileng Aori
shared “Fight of the Night” honors and earned $50,000 apiece for
their flyweight scrap on the preliminary bill. Ultimately, it was
Molina who received a unanimous nod on the strength of a pair of
knockdowns and a division record 189 significant strikes
landed.


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