Jussier Formiga's Stellar Finish Tops UFC 221 Post-Fight Bonuses

Yoel Romero scored one of his patented third-round knockouts over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, Mark Hunt lost to ever-intriguing heavyweight prospect Curtis Blaydes, and Tai Tuivasa lit up the hometown crowd with a quick TKO win before chugging a beer from an audience member's shoe.

Romero was supposed to be squaring off with Rockhold for the interim belt in the UFC 221 headliner, but after he missed weight on Friday, he was ineligible to win the title and also had to forfeit 30-percent of his fight purse to the former champion. The two fought last July, and Whittaker won the bout via decision.

"Romero took this fight on short notice when [Robert] Whittaker fell out, and he didn't get a full camp", White said, per Okamoto. Rockhold will look to push a pace to tire Romero out and eventually get him on his back.

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Romero only took the fight following the withdrawal of Robert Whittaker but the veteran fighter has now thrown himself into the mix in the middleweight division. Stunned, Rockhold looked to clinch up but Romero simply began obliterating his midsection with hooks.

The decisive moment came in the third round, when Romero closed the distance and threw a huge overhand left that connected flush, dropping the American to the canvas.

Chief among the athletes taking home a $50,000 bonus check was UFC flyweight contender Jussier Formiga, who put on an impressive performance in his preliminary card bout with Ben Nguyen. That said, the chances of his getting the next crack at Whittaker do seem good.

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Rockhold, ranked No. 2, was expecting to put on a better showing than his last fight, when he earned a second-round TKO over David Branch at UFC Fight Night in Pittsburgh on September 16.

Had Romero made weight, I would have likely leaned toward him. "With the takedowns and everything else it's really hard to stop them getting it to the ground, but striking wise we're pound for pound with the best fighters in the world". However, an injury caused Whitaker to be bumped for Romero. Rockhold is a very good athlete and an incredible fighter.

If Asker wants to be considered more than division fodder, he needs to get some momentum going.

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