No title was at stake in the UFC 225 headliner, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero fought at the United Center on Saturday night.
Whittaker and Romero received “Fight of the Night” honors for their five-round war. However, due to Romero missing weight, Whittaker received the full $100,000 instead of splitting it with his Cuban foe.
In a bout filled with momentum swings, Whittaker held on for a split-decision triumph, surviving knockdowns from Romero in round three and five in the process. While “The Reaper” improved to 2-0 against Romero, a trilogy bout wouldn’t be surprising considering the competitive nature of their first two meetings.
Elsewhere, Curtis Blaydes garnered a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” check for his third-round technical knockout victory over former title challenger Alistair Overeem in a preliminary heavyweight clash. After controlling the contest through his wrestling, “Razor” Blaydes opened up and finished Overeem with a violent salvo of elbows at the 2:56 mark of the third round.
Finally, Charles Oliveira captured the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for his first-round submission of Clay Guida in a preliminary lightweight matchup. After absorbing a few strikes in an early exchange, Guida attempted to shift gears with a takedown. However, “Do Bronx” was waiting, and he ensnared his opponent in a guillotine choke at the 2:18 mark of the opening stanza.