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Yoel Romero defeats Luke Rockhold with brutal third-round knockout

Romero delivered a big win in Australia but did not claim the interim middleweight title after missing weight on Friday.

Yoel Romero celebrates his win against Luke Rockhold last night.
Yoel Romero celebrates his win against Luke Rockhold last night.
Image: AAP/PA Images

THIS BOUT HAD so many twists and turns in the build-up that it needed to deliver on the main stage in Perth to justify the number of setbacks it had endured — but the main event at UFC 221 did not disappoint.

Although failing to claim the UFC interim middleweight championship belt after missing the 185-pound weight limit on Friday night, Yoel Romero regardless handed Luke Rockhold a definitive third-round knockout.

The Cuban had been drafted in with just four weeks’ notice after champion Robert Whittaker had been ruled out due to injury.

Just under two minutes had passed by in the third round when the 40-year-old landed a big left overhand, which left Rockhold on the canvas.

“I want to say I am so sorry for cutting weight is so bad for me,” he said afterwards. “That is the first time in my career it shut my body down.”

The win did not earn Romero the interim middleweight title but it may succeed in landing him a title rematch against Whittaker.

UFC 221 results:

  • Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold KO (punches) Round 3 1:48
  • Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) Round 3 5:00
  • Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker TKO (punches and elbows) Round 1 2:18
  • Jake Matthews def. Li Jingliang Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 30-26, 30-26) Round 3 5:00
  • Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov Submission (kimura) Round 1 3:54
  • Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Round 3 5:00
  • Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson TKO (knees and punches) Round 2 3:37
  • Alexander Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy TKO (punches and elbows) Round 2 4:57
  • Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 1:43
  • Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Round 3 5:00
  • José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) Round 3 5:00
  • Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-27, 28-27) Round 3 5:00

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