UFC Vegas 65: Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba winners and bonuses: who all got the $50,000 bonus?

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UFC Vegas 65: Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba – Take a look at the results and also the ones who received the bonus

Derrick Lewis had to withdraw from his UFC Fight Night main event against Sergey Spivak due to health concerns. The headliner, ‘The Black Beast,’ was reportedly hospitalized on the day of the event, forcing it to be cancelled. The news was brought to light by Brendan Fitzgerald who announced that Derrick Lewis had withdrawn from his scheduled fight.

“We regret to inform you of some bad news. Derrick Lewis’ side has a non-contagious, non-weight-cutting illness. Thus our major event today has been postponed. Derrick Lewis and Sergey Spivak were supposed to be our opponents. You hate seeing it.”

The main event duties were handed over to Ion Cutelaba and Kennedy Nzechukwu, who were bumped to the main event spot from the co-main event position. Overall it was a decent card with some pretty good action and entertaining fights.

A rejigged light heavyweight main event topped the UFC Vegas 65 main card, with Kennedy Nzechukwu finishing Ion Cutelaba with a sweet striking sequence in the second stanza. Nzechukwu is now on a two-fight winning streak, and his last four victories have all been by knockout.

Cutelaba won the first round on the fortitude of his grappling. He got in a few takedowns and had a fair portion of control time, but he didn’t do any significant damage. Cutelaba did manage to sneak in a Kimura lock attempt which was shut down immediately by his rival. 

When Nzechukwu countered a takedown with a brilliant knee to the face in the second round, the narrative changed. Nzechukwu then picked up the pace, landing a couple of more well-timed knees to the face that rocked Cutelaba, before dropping him against the fence with punches. Ion went down, and Kennedy continued to maul him with punches until the referee had had enough.

Heavyweight prospect Waldo Cortes Acosta remained unbeaten, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Chase Sherman in three rounds. Scores read 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 for Cortes Acosta, who improved his record to 9-0.

Sherman dominated the first round, digging kicks into his opponent’s legs and finishing with a takedown. Cortes Acosta began to find his rhythm in between, and he landed several solid blows on “The Vanilla Gorilla.”

In the second, Cortes Acosta wasted no time getting to work, tagging Sherman with a series of hard shots. Sherman tried to shake it all off, but he couldn’t avoid his opponent’s punches. The fight appeared to be over in the final minute, but Sherman made it to the horn, and the brave Mississippi native survived the final five minutes as well, but this was Cortes Acosta’s night.

Muslim Salikhov, a welterweight striker and Kung Fu superstar, came back from a rough first round against Andre Fialho to stop his opponent in the third.

Salikhov scored the first takedown of the bout midway through round one, following some solid striking from both fighters to start the bout. When the two rose, a flush spinning back kick to the body appeared to hurt Fialho, but he was unmoved, and he fired back upstairs with a punch that began to close Salikhov’s left eye.

Salikhov’s spinning backfist stung Fialho in the second, and he kept the offence coming with a spinning hook kick. After a right hand jarred Fialho, the fight went to the mat, with Salikhov attempting to end the fight with ground strikes, but the Portuguese native weathered the storm and finished the round.

Salikhov, however, was not going to let it go to the judges, and after another spinning kick to the head early in the final round, referee Chris Tognoni had had enough and stopped the fight at the 1:03 mark.

UFC Vegas 65 Results

Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Ion Cutelaba via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:02

Waldo Cortes-Acosta def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Muslim Salikhov def. Andre Fialho via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:03

Jack Della Maddalena def. Danny Roberts via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:24

Charles Johnson def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jennifer Maia def. Maryna Moroz via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Miles Johns def. Vince Morales via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Ricky Turcios def. Kevin Natividad via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Vanessa Demopoulos def. Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Brady Hiestand def. Fernie Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Natalia Silva def. Tereza Bleda via TKO (spinning back kick) – Round 3, 1:27

UFC Vegas 65 Bonus winners

Here are the fighters who cashed in an extra $50,000 for their brilliant display:

  • Performance of the Night: Kennedy Nzechukwu
  • Performance of the Night: Muslim Salikhov
  • Performance of the Night: Jack Della Maddalena
  • Performance of the Night: Natalia Silva

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Edited by: Gerard Crispin