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Tristan Connelly’s short-notice Octagon debut proved to be quite lucrative.
Connelly pocketed a $100,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus for his unanimous decision victory over Michel Pereira in a featured welterweight affair at UFC Fight Night 164 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Saturday night. While the fighters would normally split the award, Connelly received the entirety of the bonus due to Pereira failing to make weight on Friday. A last-minute replacement for Sergey Khadozhko, Connelly weathered the flashy moves of his Brazilian foe early to sweep the judges’ scorecards.
Meanwhile, Justin Gaethje garnered a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” paycheck thanks to a technical knockout of Donald Cerrone in the evening’s lightweight main event. A right hand from Gaethje buckled “Cowboy,” and then the former World Series of Fighting champion dropped his foe to all fours with a right hook in close quarters. From there, a few follow-up punches sealed the victory at the 4:18 mark of Round 1.
Finally, Misha Cirkunov captured the card’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for a first-round submission of Jim Crute in a featured light heavyweight tilt. Moments after it appeared that Crute was on the verge of earning a stoppage via ground-and-pound, Cirkunov swept into top position and secured a Peruvian necktie to get the tapout 3:38 into the first stanza.