Sunday, 18 February, 2018

Romero hammers Rockhold in Perth

Erick Silva Erick Silva
Cassandra Gardner | 12 February, 2018, 01:18

After a heated build-up, Yoel Romero hammered Luke Rockhold into oblivion on the way to a third-round knockout victory at UFC 221 in Perth.

Then, the man stepping in for Whittaker, Yoel Romero, missed weight on Saturday morning, deeming him ineligible to be crowned interim champion with a win over Rockhold. 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. 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.

Romero (12-2) is coming off a decision loss to Whittaker last July for his first defeat in six years. It was an interesting match-up on paper, as Romero would likely look to get Rockhold out of the bout early, having accepted the fight on short notice.

But fans hoping to see a match-up against Whittaker in the near future will take comfort from a tweet sent by Romero's rep shortly after the fight.

Rockhold showed great offensive striking and pivoted away from Romero's hooks masterfully in Round 1.

Despite tipping the scales heavy, Romero is set to face full-champion Whittaker as confirmed by Dana White who spoke at the post-fight press conference.

Marcelo Golm
Marcelo Golm

Watch the live weigh-in stream for UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

Rockhold (16-4) applied the pressure in Round 1 in his attempt to break down his opponent and claim the interim belt.

Rockhold appears to be in good spirits, though, who took to social media to congratulate the victor.

A bout Whittaker was the real prize, and courtesy of another highlight finish, Romero will be granted that chance.

Both fighters were transported to hospital immediately after the event - Romero suffered a shin injury so severe he had to be assisted out of the cage by his team. I didn't want to go to the second round.

But the 26-year old American played it wisely and changed things up, taking Hunt down to the canvas, where the two spent most of the remainder of the fight as Blaydes superior fitness eventually told, the judges scoring it 30-26, 30-26 and 29-27 in the USA fighter's favour. "So there's a bit of time to figure out what's going to happen in the weight division". For Romero, a win here would also set him up nicely for another shot at the belt.

Ireland's Thrashing Of Italy Has Certainly Come At A Cost
Stockdale soon had his second and Ireland's eighth before Italy grabbed a third late on through Matteo Minozzi . Ireland eased to a 63-10 win over the Italians in Rome a year ago .


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