The UFC did not crown a new interim middleweight champion in the 221 main event, partially due to the UFC’s #1 middleweight missing weight, with the other part being that Yoel Romero slumped Luke Rockhold in the 3rd round. Rockhold worked his kicking game early and his jab late, but Romero would not be denied, landing an explosive 1-1-2 that Rockhold was not ready for. Rockhold hit the deck and Romero followed up with a single ground strike for the W. Will Romero get a title shot even though he missed weight? Dana White says yes.
Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold by KO at 1:48 of round 3: Middleweight
Right away, Rockhold attacked the lead leg of fellow southpaw, until Romero checked a couple and a gash opened up on Rockhold’s shin. Romero began attacking the leg of Rockhold before coming over the top with his hyper athletic punches.
Romero came out hot in the 2nd stanza, backing up Rockhold and landing a couple of heavy bolos before returning to his reserved pace. The methodical tempo continued throughout, with neither man really opening up with anything of substance. Rockhold began pumping his jab at the end of the round, but wasn’t able to build on it before the buzzer sounded.
The 3rd round saw a more frequent jab coming from the side of Rockhold, but it was the jab jab cross that landed for Romero that slumped Rockhold. A solo follow up ground strike finished the job, and the fight was over. Whoa!
The explosiveness of Romero is 2nd to none: