Right before the two title fights at UFC 285 on Saturday was the barnburner between welterweights Geoff Neal and Shavkat Rakhmonov. The two went at it for three rounds until Rakhmonov finished the job with a rear-naked choke submission in the final 43 seconds of the fight.
Neal and Rakhmonov also won Fight of the Night, which warrants them an extra $50K each. Neal, however, missed weight by four pounds and is technically ineligible to receive his bonus. But UFC president Dana White was left so impressed that he decided to make an exception.
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“When you think about all the things that we love as fight fans, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s why I’m paying (Neal). This kid didn’t make weight, and it’s a rule. It’s a law. You are a professional. If you don’t show up here and you don’t make weight, you don’t get a bonus, period. And I don’t think we’ve ever cracked on that,” he told the media during his post-fight scrum.
“After that fight, I was like, ‘I don’t give a shit if he made weight or not, man. We’re paying that dude 50 grand. That was incredible, both guys had incredible heart, and you just couldn’t watch a better fight than that. It was awesome, and I love that shit.”
With the win, Rakhmonov remains undefeated with a record of 17-0. As for Neal, he broke a two-fight win streak as he dropped to a record of 15-5.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)
About the author