UFC Florida: Attendance, Gate, Bonuses
Once again, there were no fans inside the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on May 16. As a result, there was no gate for UFC on ESPN 8. What the event did have, however, was another night of solid fights.
While a heavyweight bout featuring Walt Harris v. Alistair Overeem was the main event, It was the main card opener that won Fight of the Night.
Song Yadong and Marlon Vera put on a striking clinic against one another for three rounds. Yadong’s movement was extremely precise to open things up, and Vera was able to make it even in the second. Without fans, you could hear how loud the body shots given by Vera were. A majority of MMA media had Vera winning (via MMA Decisions), but Yadong ended up getting the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) win.
Close quarters violence between @chitoveraUFC and @SongYaDongMMA 👏 #UFCFL pic.twitter.com/NwoL6xVjVE
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 17, 2020
Performance’s of the Night went to Cortney Casey and Miguel Baeza. In the second fight of the prelims, Casey was able to survive an opening flurry at the hands of Mara Romero Borella. She then landed an armbar out of nowhere that pulled Borella’s arm back all the way. A loud scream could be heard coming from Borella. Casey would also hit hammer fists so she could weaken Borella further.
Beautiful armbar by @CastIron_Casey leads to her first finish since 2016 #UFCFL pic.twitter.com/VCh0UayN6p
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 16, 2020
In the main event of the prelims, the young Miguel Baeza went to war with the veteran in Matt Brown. Brown would be the aggressor to start, as he ended up knocking the mouthguard out of Baeza’s mouth. Once it went back in, however, Baeza landed a few solid shots of his own.
In the second round, it only took 18 seconds for Baeza to land a huge shot to take out Brown. “Caramel Thunder” was able to win his second fight since joining the UFC.