Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero returned to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 35 in a middleweight bout against Derek Brunson. Brunson impressed in the first two rounds by completely negating the world-class wrestling advantage of his opponent. However, after tiring in the final frame he ate too many big shots and Romero scored the TKO victory.
After backing Romero up early with a flurry, Brunson surprisingly hit a takedown on the former Olympian. Romero quickly returned to his feet. Brunson caught Romero with a big kick to the head, but somehow he looked unhurt by the blow. Romero hit a takedown but ate a big punch after Brunson returned to his feet. Another takedown from Brunson. The round ended with Romero returning to his feet.
In an early second round exchange, Romero had a lead right hand to the body deflected into a low blow on Brunson. After the restart, Brunson gets off first with a left hand on Romero's chin. Romero with shots to the body before clinching up for a jumping knee to the chest. Brunson with a takedown. Brunson moved into mount. Romero avoided damage before regaining half guard. He scrambled back to his feet before the horn sounded.
Romero easily shrugs off the first takedown attempt from Brunson in the final round. Brunson was more active on the feet, but both fighters were showing the effects of a three round fight. Romero lands a left hook that shook Brunson but he recovered quickly landing a few in the clinch of his own. Romero stayed moving forward landing hooks past the guard of Brunson. He dropped him. romero followed him to the ground with the ref yelling warnings that Brunson has to start defending himself. Brunson covered up but after repeated unanswered elbows to the body, the referee stopped the action.
Yoel Romero TKO'd Derek Brunson at 3:23 of round 3.