Both fighters started tentatively. Cavalcante drew first blood with a hefty low kick that landed with a thud. Romero, a former Olympic wrestler, was more active with circling and movement while Cavalcante patiently walked him down, but the pace stayed at a painfully slow crawl. Referee Dan Miragliotta paused the action to issue a warning to Romero for timidity.
After a little taunting on the restart, Romero rushed into the clinch but couldn't enforce his will and was nearly taken down by Feijao. Excluding one more solid low kick from Cavalcante, the round was uneventful and the audience voiced their disapproval.
Romero's unintentional kick to the groin to start the second didn't smooth things over, but his berserk flurry of monster punches and subsequent takedown did. Cavalcante absorbed a few blows but covered up and regained composure. Back into open space, Cavalcante rifled home a kick to the body and tossed Romero on his back after a melee in the clinch. Romero was quickly back to his feet.
The explosion took place in the waning moments of the second. Cavalcante missed with a right high kick and continued his spinning momentum with a back fist that landed flush on Romero's chin. Smelling the kill, "Feijao" buried Romero under a tidal wave of unending punches until referee Dan Miragliatto had seen enough.
Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Rafael Cavalcante scores an impressive TKO stoppage over Yoel Romero in the second round.