Yoel Romero knocked out Luke Rockhold in the UFC 221 main event on Saturday (Feb. 10) in devastating fashion.
The KO was the biggest win of Romero’s career. Unfortunately, he didn’t earn the interim title, because he failed to make weight the night before. The 40-year-old missed the 185-pound weight limit by 2.7 pounds on Friday (Feb. 9), which means he was ineligible to claim a title, despite a victory.
In front of fans in Perth, Australia, Romero (13-2) was patient, looking for his opening… and it came in the third round when he dropped Rockhold with a big left hand. Rockhold fell along the fence, and Romero pounced, landing another left to put him away.
After the fight, Romero said he believed he suffered a broken leg in the first round, due to consistent leg kicks from Rockhold. Fortunately, his team has since said it was not broken.
The main event of UFC 221 was supposed to feature undisputed middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defending his title against Rockhold. Whittaker, however, was forced off the card, due to injury, and Romero stepped in instead. The fight between Rockhold (16-4) and Romero was supposed to be for the interim middleweight title.
UFC president Dana White has told ESPN that Romero will be Whittaker’s next title challenger — a rematch of a closely contested bout last July, where Whittaker (19-4) came out with a unanimous decision.
In the co-main event, Curtis Blaydes defeated UFC heavyweight legend Mark Hunt via unanimous decision. The win is the biggest of Blaydes career.
For Hunt, it’s the second loss in his last three fights. He did TKO Derrick Lewis last June in the headliner of UFC Fight Night.