Joaquin Buckley, Cory Sandhagen Earn UFC Bonuses with Incredible Kicks to Win

Jenna CiccotelliContributor IIIOctober 11, 2020

Closeup of a glove and the UFC logo at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 on Saturday, July 7, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

With a pair of viral kicks, Joaquin Buckley and Cory Sandhagen each took home $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses at UFC Fight Island 5 on Saturday.

Heavyweight Chris Daukaus and middleweight Tom Breese also earned bonuses. No Fight of the Night title was awarded. 

Buckley was set up to struggle midway through Round 2 of his middleweight contest with Impa Kasanganay, with Kasanganay holding his left foot. But Buckley spun around and kicked Kasanganay in the head to instantly knock him out. 

"We were just talking about whether we should give him all of the bonuses right now," UFC President Dana White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. "The athleticism required to do what he did, that is crazy." 

Iole said the UFC's tweet with video of the knockout was the most engaged tweet in the account's history. 

Sandhagen entered Saturday off of a quick defeat by Aljamain Sterling in June, but he erased all memories of his loss with a spinning wheel kick to the head of top-ranked Marlon Moraes in the second round. 

"That's putting in that work during the quarantine," Sandhagen told Iole. "When you can't go to the gym and all you can hit is the bob, I had to enhance my game and I'm always working. Hard work pays off."

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Daukaus knocked out Rodrigo Nascimento in 45 seconds for his first bonus prize, and Breese was paid his third bonus for winning against KB Bhullar under two minutes into the first round, per MMA Fighting's Alexander K. Lee