UFC 225 emanated tonight (Saturday, June 9, 2018) from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The main event was a non-title rematch between middleweight king Robert Whittaker against the explosive Yoel Romero. The familiar pair put on a slugfest for the ages in a Fight of the Year contender. Romero knocked down and stunned the champion on two occasions, but it was not enough.
Whittaker won three rounds on two of the three judges scorecards, buoyed by greater volume and his own big moments rocking Romero. The pair earned Fight of the Night honors, but only Whittaker left with extra money in his pocket. Because Romero missed weight – first coming in at 186 and then 185.2 on his second attempt – he was ineligible for post-fight bonus money. Whittaker, therefore, banks an extra $100,000 for his efforts.
The Performances of the Night went to two fighters on the prelims. First, Charles Oliveira stepped in on short notice to fill in for an injured Bobby Green against Clay Guida. Despite having just two weeks’ notice, Oliveira was in prime form. He pressured Guida, firing aggressive punch-kick combinations at the Team Alpha Male product. After being cut and absorbing more offense, Guida shot in for a takedown right into Oliveira’s venomous guillotine. The tap came moments later. “Do Bronx” earned himself an extra $50,000 for his performance.
The other Performance bonus went to Curtis Blaydes, who sliced up bludgeoned Alistair Overeem with vicious third-round elbows. Blaydes had to endure some hellacious knees from the former heavyweight kickboxing champion, but he was able to repeatedly ground the hulking Dutchman. He stayed safe on top for the most part throughout the fight. But as Overeem tired, Blaydes became more emboldened. In the final round, Blaydes finally postured up and delivered a crushing series of elbows that simultaneously split Overeem’s head open and knocked him unconscious. Referee Dan Miragliotta was a little late getting there, and Overeem’s forehead had become a geyser of blood by the time he arrived on the scene. Blaydes picked up the most significant win of his career and an extra $50,000 for his efforts.
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