UFC 221 had to overcome some turbulence en route to the promotion’s first event in Perth, Australia, but several of the fighters on the card delivered stellar performances, earning post-fight bonuses.
The original UFC 221 headliner was supposed to feature middleweight champion Robert Whittaker putting his belt on the line against Luke Rockhold. After Whittaker had to withdraw due to illness and injury, Yoel Romero stepped in to face Rockhold in what was supposed to be an interim title fight.
Romero, however, missed weight, making him ineligible to win the belt. Rockhold could have won the title, had he won the fight. As it turns out, Romero won the main event, knocking Rockhold out cold. But having missed weight, Romero was also ineligible for any post-fight performance bonuses.
Formiga dropped Nguyen to the canvas with a spinning backfist and immediately followed him to the ground. Formier quickly sank in a rear-naked choke and Nguyen went to sleep.
The finish earned Formiga a $50,000 Performance of the Night honor.
The other Performance of the Night bonus went to Octagon newcomer Israel Adesanya.
Adesanya used a versatile striking game to pick Rob Wilkinson apart, finishing him with an assortment of knees and punches midway through the second round.
Fight of the Night honors went to Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang, who battle the full three rounds of their main card bout. At the end of the fight, Aussie fighter Matthews walked away with a unanimous decision victory, and both fighters walked away with $50,000 bonus checks.
UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold Post-Fight Bonuses
- Fight of the Night: Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang
- Performance of the Night: Jussier Formiga
- Performance of the Night: Israel Adesanya