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Yoel Romero lands stunning knockout on Luke Rockhold at UFC 221

Yoel Romero lands stunning knockout on Luke Rockhold at UFC 221

Yoel Romero's unsettling wax-and-wane approach claimed yet another victim in the disheveled Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division. Among those appearing on the UFC 221 Fight Pass prelims were Ross Pearson and Mizuto Hirtoa, in the lightweight featured preliminary bout.

After a heated build-up, Yoel Romero hammered Luke Rockhold into oblivion on the way to a third-round knockout victory at UFC 221 in Perth. Only Rockhold was eligible to win the gold as Romero missed weight. The bout was scheduled to be for the interim UFC middleweight title.

Robert Whittaker was originally expected to face Georges St-Pierre for the title, but St-Pierre vacated it and Whittaker, the interim champion, became the undisputed champion.

The third round was disastrous for Rockhold.

Romero was in frightening form before his loss to Whittaker, winning eight in a row, including knockouts over former champions Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman. "I happened to work really fast to get all this done for this fight, it messed up a little bit my plans for the weight cut".

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UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Romero will be Whittaker's next title challenger.

To kick off the main card, light heavyweights Tyson Pedro and Saparbek Safarov went just one round before the latter was finished by a kimura submission. Jake Matthews made it two for two for home fighters with a unanimous points win over China's Li Jingliang in a welterweight bout.

The finish was lightning quick, as Romero darted in with his signature left hand.

In the second stanza, Romero blitzed Rockhold and landed some strikes.

This now marks the fourth professional loss of Rockhold's career.