Yoel Romero may not be going home tonight with the title, thanks to weighing in almost three pounds over, but he is going back to his native Cuba with a massive win over a former UFC Middleweight Champion.
Romero took on Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221.
The two were underway after touching gloves. Rockhold took the center of the cage, hitting Romero with a light left, right, and kick. Rockhold landed a huge leg kick, but it worked against him, cutting his leg.
Romero swung for the fences with a huge left, but missed completely. Yoel then got flashy, going for a question mark kick, then doing some kung fu style moves. He then looked like he was going for a jump kick, but didn’t follow through.
Yoel charged in with some strikes over the top, but didn’t land anything significant. Romero kept his hands open, waiting for counter strike.
By the end of Round 1, there were no clear winners.
Romero charged in and hit Rockhold with a right in Round 2. Yoel was now the one to take the center of the cage and chase Luke, who had a mouse over his eye.
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Romero went back to staying patient, defending Rockhold’s high kicks.
Yoel then charged in again, landing some shots. Luke circled out before his opponent could cause any significant damage, though.
Rockhold landed some solid jabs shortly before the round ended, but Round 2 was clearly in the favor of Romero.
Luke circled around his opponent and jabbed at the beginning of Round 3. Yoel peppered him with some jabs of his own, chasing Rockhold around the cage.
He was just biding his time, though. As soon as the time was right, Romero landed a huge left that put Luke Rockhold’s face in the floor, ending the fight.
Had he watched his weight, Yoel Romero would have been the UFC Interim Middleweight Champion.
Maybe he’ll get a third shot.