Main and co-main event winners Alexander Volkov and Cory Sandhagen delivered highlight-reel finishes at UFC Vegas 18, and the promotion rewarded them with $50,000 performance bonuses.
Volkov picked up his third performance bonus with a second-round stoppage of multi-title champ Alistair Overeem. The Russian picked up his second straight win. He also passed a huge hurdle to a title shot with an impressive striking display that bloodied Overeem before the fight was called off with a left hook that sent the former Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champ to the canvas.
Although he was the co-main event of the evening, Sandhagen stole the show with a flying knee knockout of ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Just 28 seconds into the fight, Edgar was lying stiff on the canvas after Sandhagen drew him into range and then went airborn. Edgar’s chin rotated violently upon contact with Sandhagen’s knee, and he toppled over, moving to 1-3 in his past four outings. It was Edgar’s first loss since moving to bantamweight, where he hoped to capture a UFC title in the third division in which he’d fought in the octagon.
The final performance bonuses handed out at UFC Vegas 18 were Beneil Dariush and Carlos Diego Ferreira, who fought three rounds of frenzied action on the main card to earn $50,000 checks for “Fight of the Night” honors. Dariush wound up winning a split decision for his second win over the Brazilian, but he was not happy with UFC matchmakers for making him repeat his work.