Yoel Romero Scores Victory over Luke Rockhold Via TKO at UFC 221

Esther Moore
February 12, 2018

Yoel Romero pulled off a spectacular knockout of Luke Rockhold in their interim middleweight bout at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia on Sunday.

But Romero was ineligible to claim the interim title when he missed the weight at Friday's weigh-ins. The timing was right in the third round when Romero came forward with two jabs before unleashing a vicious straight left that put Rockhold on the floor. Whittaker previously defeated Romero by decision to become interim champion.

"Romero took this fight on short notice when [Robert] Whittaker fell out, and he didn't get a full camp", White said, per Okamoto.

Rockhold showed great offensive striking and pivoted away from Romero's hooks masterfully in Round 1.

Romero only took the fight following the withdrawal of Robert Whittaker but the veteran fighter has now thrown himself into the mix in the middleweight division.

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His natural power and relentless pressure eventually paid off in the third round as he clipped Rockhold with an explosive overhand left, swatting the American to the canvas.

UFC 221 wasn't as bad as everyone was predicting, and could actually be a launching spot for several rising stars and possibly a new champion who is over 40.

Both fighters were transported to hospital immediately after the event - Romero suffered a shin injury so severe he had to be assisted out of the cage by his team. Assuming he's not seriously injured, he's going to get a chance to avenge that loss with the belt on the line fairly soon. He owns KO wins over the likes of Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman. Although these weren't massive fights for the mainstream audience or perhaps even some hardcore fans, this is exactly why these three were on the main card. Rockhold has the more well-rounded game, but Romero has the more unsafe power. The rest of athletes didn't attend the post-fight press conference. "With the takedowns and everything else it's really hard to stop them getting it to the ground, but striking wise we're pound for pound with the best fighters in the world".

Romero strung together with handsome punching combinations in the second round and followed up with yet another hellacious offensive chain of movements in the third round.

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