Grant Dawson was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus for his savage exploits at UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday night as he landed a buzzer-beating KO in his lightweight contest with Brazilian rival Leonardo Santos.
With the bout set to head to the scorecards, the 27-year-old Dawson didn’t want to leave his fate in the hands of the judges and got the job done within three rounds.
Laying a barrage of brutal hammerfist blows down on Santos that caused his foe’s mouthguard to fly out, the referee stepped in to stop the ground-and-pound pummeling with just one second to spare.
Though some dubbed the feat “unreal”, fans in general were less impressed by the officiating.
“Awful reffing, he was out after [the] first one landed clean, I could tell on my couch and he took three more clean [shots] for no reason. Shaking my head,” decried one Twitter user.
Awful reffing he was out after 1st one landed clean, I could tell on me couch and he took 3 clean more for no reason. Smh
— Wookie (@ThugWookie) March 21, 2021
“Wtf was the ref doing? At least two big shots after he was out,” questioned another in agreement, as someone else said: “Yeah just jump in whenever you’re ready ref.”
“Shocking from the ref. Truly shocking,” it was also said.
The victory improved former ‘Dana White’s Contender Series’ star Dawson to 17-1 in professional MMA, and extended his winning streak to eight.
He used his post-fight interview to call out US veteran Clay Guida.
“From this point on it’s legends and rankings.”@DawsonGrant20y1 lays out what is next for him after defeating Leonardo Santos, including a potential fight with Clay Guida 🔊⬆️All #UFCVegas22 Results ⬇️:
— UFC News (@UFCNews) March 21, 2021
The UFC’s 155lbs fold is notoriously infested with threats, but a statement from Dawson as he stepped up to the division surely put some names on notice and gave matchmakers another name to think about in the mix.