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UFC 178: Cruz, McGregor, Romero, Kennedy Earn Fight Bonuses

Dominick Cruz ufcLAS VEGAS, Nev. – Dominick Cruz, Conor McGregor, Yoel Romero and Tim Kennedy net performance bonuses from the Ultimate Fighting Championship for their performance in UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Arena on Saturday. The UFC awards performance bonuses after each event to reward fighters for going above and beyond in the octagon and each of these fighters earned $50,000.

No. 10 ranked bantamweight contender and former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (20-1) made good on his return to the octagon for his first fight in nearly three years due to injury with a 61-second dismantling of No. 5 contender Takeya Mizugaki (20-8-2). Cruz nets a performance bonus for his stoppage, which is the first time that Mizugaki has been stopped. Cruz came out in the match with his trademark style and surged into a takedown that caught Mizugaki by surprise and then unleashed a flurry of ground strikes that led to the fight stoppage.

The other performance bonus went to No. 9 featherweight contender “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (15-2) for his first round knockout of No. 5 ranked Dustin “The Diamond” Poirer (16-4). McGregor moved in midway through the first round with a 1-2 combination then eventually an elbow to the head dropped Poirer to the mat. The Irishman dropped a salvo of punches until the fight was stopped.

In spite of the controversy that it raised, the middleweight bout between No. 6 ranked contender Tim Kennedy (18-5) and No. 10 ranked Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (9-1) managed to snag Fight of the Night honors. The three round fight ended with a stunning thud of a knockout by Romero after he was allowed extra recovery time between the second and third round. Romero landed a left-right combo that sent Kennedy to the mat. The “Soldier of God” continued his onslaught with a series of ground strikes that forced the fight stoppage. Romero led by nine strikes and three takedowns at the time of the fight stoppage but the fight was tied at 19 on all scorecards.