UFC 221: Yoel Romero turns off Luke Rockhold's lights in third round

UFC 221 Predictions: Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold 2/10/18

But Romero, who was a substitute for UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who pulled out of a scheduled bout with Rockhold due to illness, missed weight Friday, clocking in at 187.7 for a 185-pound fight. For Romero, a win here would also set him up nicely for another shot at the belt.

UFC 221 - What time will the main card get underway? But when it comes down to it, Romero missed weight and as impressive as the performance was against Rockhold, it's hard to reward him for coming in at 187.7lbs, 2.7lbs above the 185lbs middleweight title fight limit. However, the UFC middleweight champ was sidelined with a litany of injuries, meaning Yoel Romerowas parachuted in to take on Luke Rockhold for the interim middleweight championship. Part of the blame lies on Whittaker pulling out of the Rockhold fight at UFC 221, because if he was healthy Romero wouldn't have even been part of this discussion, as Romero was supposed to fight David Branch at UFC Orlando.

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Rockhold, ranked No. 2, was expecting to put on a better showing than his last fight, when he earned a second-round TKO over David Branch at UFC Fight Night in Pittsburgh on September 16. Rockhold stayed behind his jab and drilled Romero with leg kicks, while Romero kept the former champion honest with his Olympic-caliber wrestling and punching power. "I happened to work really fast to get all this done for this fight, it messed up a little bit my plans for the weight cut". Tuivasa is now 7-0 as a professional, with all wins by knockout, including two with the UFC. I put a show on for them. "He wants to stand and bang, He's the better striker, he's a veteran, but I didn't want to play his game". In the co-headline bout American Curtis Blaydes scored a unanimous decision against the representative of the country-host Mark Hunt. He wore down Hunt over three rounds and extended his unbeaten streak to four fights. Pedro locked in a kimura to earn the fifth submission win of his career. "I'm not necessarily sure exactly what went wrong", Romero said. The time of the finish was 1:48 of the third. In the blink of an eye, Rockhold was sent into a career tailspin while Romero, once again, was an unstoppable monster.

Come fight night, Australia will be represented by Tai Tuivasa, Jake Matthews and Tyson Pedro, who lock horns with Cyril Asker, Li Jingling and Saparbek Safarov respectively.

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