Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas Earn Bonus Prize Money After Knockouts at UFC 261

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2021

Kamaru Usman celebrates his win atop the octagon fence after a UFC 261 mixed martial arts bout against Jorge Masvidal early Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas each earned Performance of the Night bonuses for their brilliant knockout victories at Saturday's UFC 261 pay-per-view.

The UFC announced the champions nabbed the $50,000 prizes, along with the preliminary bout of Jeffrey Molina vs. Qileng Aori receiving Fight of the Night honors.

Usman, the No. 2 men's fighter in the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings, knocked out Jorge Masvidal 1:02 into the second round of their welterweight championship bout for his 18th consecutive win. Usman's 14 straight wins in the UFC are the second-most in the promotion's history, behind only Anderson's Silva's streak of 16 straight.

"I think we can all agree," White told MMA Junkie's Nolan King and Ken Hathaway. "No matter how you feel, the guy is getting booed in there tonight, (but) he's one of the best ever. He's on his way to probably being the greatest of all time. I mean, the guy is an absolute stud. He looks better every time he comes out."

After previously earning the reputation as a more conservative fighter, Usman has earned knockouts in three of his four championship defenses.

Namajunas, meanwhile, became the first woman in UFC history to regain a title she previously lost, knocking out Zhang Weili with a head kick 1:18 into Round 1 to take back her strawweight championship. The 28-year-old previously lost the title to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 but has come back strong in her past two fights.

Zhang had been undefeated in her past 21 fights, including a streak of five straight wins to begin her UFC career.

Molina's three-round unanimous-decision win over Aori was his eighth straight win overall. He's won each of his first two fights since joining the promotion.