Unfortunately, the broken hand suffered by Anthony Pettis brought a halt to his UFC 229 co-main event bout against Tony Ferguson just as the bout was starting to reach the caliber of a Fight of the Year candidate.
But the fight wasn’t halted before becoming an obvious choice for Fight of the Night. Former UFC interim lightweight champ Ferguson and former UFC and WEC lightweight champ Pettis engaged in a wild 10 minutes of action before Pettis’ corner called things off due to injury before the start of the third round, giving Ferguson a TKO victory at 5:00 of the second.
And for their superlative effort, both fighters take home an addition $50,000 for their Fight of the Night bonuses. It was Ferguson’s ninth career postfight bonus; and the 10th combined UFC/WEC bonus for Pettis.
There were also a pair of Performance of the Night bonuses handed out, as both Derrick Lewis and Aspen Ladd will also bring home an extra $50K.
Lewis, for his part, scored one of the most spectacular last-minute finishes in MMA history on Saturday night, as he knocked out Alexander Volkov with 11 seconds remaining in a bout Lewis was handily losing. That marked Lewis’ fifth post-fight bonus and fourth in his past five fights.
Ladd, meanwhile, had her most impressive performance of her young career. The rising Northern California bantamweight scored a dominant first-round finish of former Invicta champion Tonya Evinger, as she improved to 7-0 and earned her first post-fight bonus.
The UFC announced a sellout crowd of 20,034 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with a gate of $17,188,894.67, which is the second-largest in UFC history.