Romero crushes Rockhold in the third
With all the drama of a missed weight cut behind him, Yoel Romero did what he does best on Saturday night – explode into a third-round fight finish.
That was Romero’s sixth third-round finish in the UFC, with Luke Rockhold joining the likes of Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Tim Kennedy, and Derek Brunson.
The fight started tentatively as Rockhold looked to establish his renowned kicking game, but Romero countered this by checking Rockhold’s kicks while persistently threatening to unleash a trademark flurry of strikes. Romero came out with guns blazing in the second stanza, but Rockhold did well to negate the Cuban’s offence to close off the round.
Rockhold’s defence didn’t hold up in the third round, though. The American’s kryptonite, the left-handed punch over the top of his guard, struck once again as Romero blasted Rockhold to send him reeling. The fight’s ending was similar to that of Bisping vs. Rockhold 2, with Romero following up with some heavy uppercuts to finish off the contest.
Due to Romero’s failed weight cut, he will not be crowned interim UFC middleweight champion. However, it’s likely he will now get his rematch with Australia’s Robert Whittaker for the belt in the near future.
On to a title shot?@YoelRomeroMMA #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/2vH4DRv56W
— UFC (@ufc) February 11, 2018
Blaydes bests Hunt in decision win
You would be harsh to criticise a man from not wanting to stand in the pocket and trade punches with Mark Hunt.
Curtis Blaydes got a bitter taste of the danger Hunt poses in the opening round, getting wobbled by a series of unassumingly-powerful punches. Once the cobwebs cleared, Blaydes took Kiwi Hunt down to the canvas to regain his bearings properly and close out the round.
From then, Blaydes knew he had to utilise his NJCAA wrestling pedigree to win this dangerous fight. While Hunt did well to stuff some takedowns and to get back on his feet after being flattened from a takedown, Blaydes’ persistence paid off as he won on each of the judges’ scorecards to take home a unanimous decision win.
With the heavyweight division always needing new blood, Blaydes’ victory could be good news for the weight class and future fights down the road.
OHHH @MarkHunt1974 ROCKS Blaydes, but @RazorBlaydes265 recovers and gets the takedown! What a round! #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/0tda493rPa
— UFC (@ufc) February 11, 2018
UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold full results:
Catchweight bout: Yoel Romero defeats Luke Rockhold by KO (punches) at 1:28 of round 3.
Heavyweight bout: Curtis Blaydes defeats Mark Hunt by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Heavyweight bout: Tai Tuivasa defeats Cyril Asker by TKO (punches and elbows) at 2:18 of round 1.
Welterweight bout: Jake Matthews defeats Li Jingliang by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Light Heavyweight bout: Tyson Pedro defeats Saparbek Safarov by submission (kimura) at 3:54 of round 1.
lightweight bout: Dong Hyun Kim defeats Damien Brown by Split Decision (SD) after three rounds. Judges scores: 29-28, 29-28, 28-29
Middleweight bout: Israel Adesanya defeats Rob Wilkinson by TKO (knees and punches) at 3:37 of round 2.
Featherweight bout: Alex Volkanovski defeats Jeremy Kennedy by TKO (punches and elbows) at 4:57 of round 2.
Flyweight bout: Jussier Formiga defeats Ben Nguyen by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:43 of round 3.
Lightweight bout: Ross Pearson defeats Mizuto Hirota by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Bantamweight bout: Jose Alberto Quinonez defeats Teruto Ishihara by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Welterweight bout: Luke Jumeau defeats Daichi Abe by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.