UFC 221 results: Full winners, analysis and reaction from Romero vs. Rockhold

UFC 221 Predictions: Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold 2/10/18

In the main event of last night's UFC 221 event, Yoel Romero knocked out Luke Rockhold in the third round to take home the victory. Part of the blame lies on Whittaker pulling out of the Rockhold fight at UFC 221, because if he was healthy Romero wouldn't have even been part of this discussion, as Romero was supposed to fight David Branch at UFC Orlando.

Already ranked as the division's number-one contender, Romero's victory is likely to see him installed as the next challenger for the UFC middleweight title, held by Australian Robert Whittaker, who recorded a unanimous decision victory over the Cuban in July a year ago. But he didn't win a belt for his efforts.

If Rockhold can stay on the outside and pick Romero apart, while keeping a fast pace, he'll become a two-time champion and go on to face Robert Whittaker. He connected with a double jab and then fired an overhand left that dropped Rockhold onto the seat of his trousers near the cage. A knee injury forced Rockhold to withdraw from a fight with Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza later that year.

These are the types of young, emerging prospects everyone needs to be paying attention to going forward and the kind of potential local stars the capacity crowd in Perth paid to see.

His finish was his seventh, tied for third in UFC middleweight history behind Anderson Silva and Thiago Santos, each of whom had eight.




Had Romero made weight, I would have likely leaned toward him. Sydney slugger Mark Hunt (13-12-1, 1 NC) is one of the sport's most beloved fighters, but the heavyweight turns 44 next month, and his age showed in a one-sided loss to Chicago's Curtis Blaydes (9-1, 1 NC).

"Rockhold is a very good athlete and an wonderful fighter", Romero said after the fight.

Blaydes consistently controlled Hunt on the ground en route to his fourth straight win. For Romero, a win here would also set him up nicely for another shot at the belt.

Matthews, 23, produced arguably the best performance of his career to defeat Jingliang, but the bout was marred by an ugly incident when the Chinese fighter blatantly gouged Matthews' right eye to escape a tight triangle choke.

Finally, Rockhold vs. Romero was set.

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