Khabib Nurmagomedov not only solidified his status as the sole UFC lightweight champion at UFC 242 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, he also walked away with one of four Performance of the Night honors. There was no Fight of the Night bonus awarded.
Nurmagomedov did what he always does. He took Poirier down repeatedly, wearing him out, eventually setting up a rear-naked choke. He finished the fight a little over two minutes into the third round, securing the victory and a $50,000 bonus.
Joining Nurmagomedov as bonus winners were Ottman Azaitar, Belal Muhammad, and Muslim Salikhov.
Azaitar needed just one round to nab his $50,000 bonus check. He and Teemu Packalen fought at a blistering pace until Azaitar landed one brutal punch that sent Packalen to the canvas.
Like Nurmagomedov, Belal Muhammad earned his bonus with a fight-finishing submission. Muhammad sunk a rear-naked choke on Takashi Sato at the 1:55 mark of round three on the early prelims.
Much like Azaitar, Salikhov also scored a one-punch, walk-off knockout. He landed a lightning-quick right hand that sent Nadine Taleb crashing onto his back. The knockout earned him a victory and a Performance of the Night bonus check.
UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier Fighter Performance Bonuses