It would have been a crime if Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens had lost out on FOTN.
Maybe it’s not exactly stealing the Fight of the Night bonus, but featherweights Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez stole the show at UFC Boston. And with their performance — a three-round war that saw both men hurt badly — they took home the Fight of the Night bonus.
Welcome to the ESPN card’s least shocking development.
The only downside of Stephens vs. Rodriguez 2 was that it was three rounds, not five. But the battle certainly made up for the abrupt finish (due to an eye poke) at their first meeting late last month, at UFC Mexico City.
This time out, Rodriguez was shining early, his flashy kicks dazzling. Lighting up the body of Stephens, it looked like Yair would capture the finish, especially when a body shot felled ‘Lil Heathen.’
Stephens, always a tough out, somehow managed to keep defending himself. Moving position, grabbing for a leg, doing more than just covering up. The ref let it go. And then Stephens mounted a comeback in the third round, getting Rodriguez down and smashing him with elbows.
He just couldn’t put Rodriguez away before the final bell. Yair took home the decision win.
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2019
On a night with plenty of finishes, the Performance of the Night bonuses went to Dominick Reyes and Charles Rosa. Reyes, of course, knocked out Chris Weidman in the main event. Rosa, meanwhile, returned from an extended layoff and submitted Boston’s own Manny Bermudez.
All four men will pick up an extra $50,000 USD in bonus money.