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Cheyanne Buys gets emotional over UFC Vegas 33 performance bonus: ‘I’ve been so broke my whole life because of this sport’

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UFC Fight Night: Buys v de Paula Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

At UFC Vegas 33 last night (Sat., July 31, 2021), Cheyanne Buys bounced back from an embarrassing March loss to knockout Gloria de Paula in 60 seconds. It was a fast and violent finish that saw Buys hit de Paula with a head kick and then finish her on the canvas with some mean ground-an-pound.

The victory offered Buys redemption after a decision loss to Montserrat Ruiz at UFC Vegas 22 where she was stuck in a headlock for the majority of their 15-minute fight. It also earned her a “Performance of the Night” bonus of $50,000 ... which is fortunate considering Buys revealed during her in-cage interview that she was completely broke.

“I’m so broke, my whole check is going to — I got a loan just so I could get a house here [in Vegas],” she told Paul Felder.

An emotional Buys was on the verge of tears at the post-fight press conference as she talked about how much the bonus money would help.

“I just found out two seconds ago I got Performance of the Night, so yeah, it’s pretty surreal,” Buys said (via MMA Fighting). “Seven weeks ago I decided to make a big risk and just ditch my house and everything in it in Dallas, Texas, and I came here with my animals and my husband and we have one vehicle. We packed up our car with one suitcase. We came here, we didn’t have a house, we had nothing. I had to get a loan just to get a house and I knew coming in here tonight that my whole paycheck was just gonna go back to that loan.”

“I am negative in my account right now,” Buys said. “So it’s gonna make a big difference. My whole paycheck is I have to pay back $15,000 for a loan I got from a few people, so I made 10 and 10 for my win and show so that $20,000 was just gone. And I’m okay with is, I was okay if I won and that check was gone because I made that move out here and I knew that this fight was just gonna be for the move. It was the best decision me and my husband made for our careers and just to get that bonus….”

“I’ve been so broke my whole life because of this sport but it’s so worth it to me because I love this sport, but to get a $50,000 paycheck, my husband’s gonna tell me to put it away, I’m definitely gonna want to buy some nice stuff, but I like to buy a little bit of things for the house and for my animals. I really like to spoil my family, but this week I’m definitely taking my team to go get a nice dinner. It’s life-changing for sure, but I’ve got to put the money away and just go out there and fight again.”

Above and beyond the money, Buys also feels like the knockout win vindicates her after that awkward loss to Ruiz in March.

“I got headlocked forever and it was embarrassing,” she said about that defeat. “I had to deal with it. I had to deal with the trolls. I had to deal with being known as ‘the headlock girl’ and I told my husband leading into this fight, ‘I can die and I will not die knowing I am that headlock girl. I will not die knowing I’m 0-1 in UFC.’ One and one is a lot better than zero and two.”

For complete UFC Vegas 33: “Hall vs. Strickland” results and play-by-play, click HERE.