Yoel Romero picked up a championship-caliber win on Saturday, but he won’t have a title to show for it.
Romero (13-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) took out former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a massive third-round knockout. The stoppage came after a pair of left hands at the 1:48 mark of the middle round.
But because Romero failed to make weight, only Rockhold was eligible to win an interim middleweight title. Romero presumably stays in line to fight champion Robert Whittaker when he returns.
The middleweight bout was the main event of today’s UFC 221 card at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
It was all kickboxing early. Romero checked some of Rockhold’s kicks, and it cut Rockhold’s left shin open. Midway through, Rockhold ducked away from a Romero punch. With 90 seconds left, Romero landed with a left hand and backed Rockhold up. Rockhold kicked up high, but had it partially blocked.
Romero came blitzing out right away in the seoncd and hurt Rockhold with a series of punches. He backed Rockhold to the fence, and pummeled his midsection while Rockhold tried to recover from the shots to the head.
In the third, Rockhold fought patiently. But it cost him. Romero drilled Rockhold with a left hand and put him on the canvas. A second later, Romero hit one more left to make sure the former champion was out cold.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 221 results include:
- Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 1:48
- Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
- Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:18
- Jake Matthews def. Li Jingliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
- Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 3:54
- “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:37
- Alex Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:57
- Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:43
- Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jose Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
- Twitter reacts to Yoel Romero's knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 221
- UFC 221 results: Curtis Blaydes dominates Mark Hunt for biggest win of career
- How do you celebrate a win at UFC 221? If you're Tai Tuivasa, you chug beer out of a shoe
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC 221 results: Yoel Romero KOs Luke Rockhold – but can't become interim 185 champion