UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold Fight Pass Recap and Results

Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya

Yoel Romero's unsettling wax-and-wane approach claimed yet another victim in the disheveled Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division.

With Ross Pearson, Jussier Formiga and Israel Adesanya, even the prelims of UFC 221 are pretty stacked and this fight could be the pick of that undercard. The middleweight fight headlined UFC 221 in Perth, Australia. Romero missed weight for the fight, though, and only Rockhold was eligible to win the belt. However, due to missing weight, Romero wasn't able to win the same title Rockhold was.

Romero (13-2) knocked out Rockhold with a monstrous left hand at the 1:48 mark of the third round. Originally, the card featured Luke Rockhold and the undisputed middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

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"I felt really good", Romero said.

Romero was in frightening form before his loss to Whittaker, winning eight in a row, including knockouts over former champions Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman.

The Cuban veteran had Rockhold hurt with punches in the second, but was unable to get the finish. He was supposed to fight at UFC on FOX 28 later this month, but then an injury to champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) opened a spot in the UFC 221 main event.

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To kick off the main card, light heavyweights Tyson Pedro and Saparbek Safarov went just one round before the latter was finished by a kimura submission.

Romero has received criticism for his cardio - fading in the later rounds against Robert Whittaker previous year - but he remained powerful and explosive enough to land a brutal knockout blow with 1min 28 seconds left in the round. Rockhold could have won the title, had he won the fight.

All four of Rockhold's professional losses have come via knockout.

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