On Saturday evening, Cuban wrestling standout, Yoel Romero, pulled off one of his most impressive performances to date, knocking out former ligh theavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Coming into this fight, Machida looked to rebound from a disappointing fight against Luke Rockhold, whereas Yoel Romero was looking to build upon his unbeaten UFC winning streak.
With Romero's knockout and an exciting main card, fight fans were treated to an entertaining night of fights in Florida.
Official result: Yoel Romero defeats Lyoto Machida by KO (elbows), 1:38 of round 3
What was the high point of the fight?
Coming into this fight there were plenty of questions about Romero's capacity to perform into the later rounds. After all in Romero's last performance, the ATT product was unable to answer the bell in time at the end of the second round. However, the high point of Romero's fight with Machida was his restraint, Romero picked his punches cleverly and conserved his energy throughout, leaving him capable of exploding with elbows in round 3 when the fight hit the canvas.
Lyoto Machida is perhaps the most technical striker in the UFC and the fact that Romero was able to stand comfortably with him for the better part of 3 rounds shows the growth of Romero as a fighter. All in all Yoel Romero's whole performance eclipsed anything he has previously done inside the Octagon, this fight was the high point of Romero's career.
Where do these two go from here?
That's 6 wins in a row for Yoel Romero, which means he is truly on the cusp of a title shot. However, with the champion Chris Weidman being tied up with a worthy challenger in Luke Rockhold, it seems most likely that Romero will need to take another fight before getting a shot at the gold. A fight with Jacare Souza makes most sense for Romero.
The end of the Machida era is imminent, it seems like just yesterday that "The Dragon's" defense was impenetrable, but in recent years he has gotten hit all too regularly. It seems Machida has lost a fraction of his speed, though this could be because he is no longer fighting the slower light heavyweights. Regardless after suffering two straight concussions in quick succession, Machida needs to take some time off to reevaluate things.
Watch now, later, or never?
Watch this one right now. The first 2 rounds are technical and fun and the final few minutes are brutally violent.