At Perth's UFC 221 on Saturday (Sunday local time), the main event was only a title bout for Luke Rockhold, as Yoel Romero missed weight by three pounds at the official weigh-ins. But when it comes down to it, Romero missed weight and as impressive as the performance was against Rockhold, it's hard to reward him for coming in at 187.7lbs, 2.7lbs above the 185lbs middleweight title fight limit. He was 0.9 kilograms over at his first attempt and still 0.77 kilograms over the 84 kilograms limit at his second.
After a cagey first round that saw both fighters trade kicks and blows from a distance, Romero caught Rockhold early in the second round.
Hunt, fighting for the first time since beating Derrick Lewis in Auckland eight months ago, rocked the ninth-ranked Blaydes with some heavy punches early but Blaydes exhausted the New Zealander with a series of 10 takedowns for the biggest win of his career.
It meant the Cuban didn't walk away from the octagon with a championship belt around his waist, but his performance against former champion Rockhold will have sent shockwaves through the division.
As good as Romero is, it's not fair to reward him with a title shot. On the feet, he's a lion and I'm not a lion.
The main card and the preliminary fights will be shown live on BT Sport 2. "I expect a big crowd". Rockhold soon got back to work, popping out his southpaw jab and the occasional left to the body or head. Pedro locked in a kimura to earn the fifth submission win of his career. "I just knew he wasn't going to go real low on my legs, so ripped it off and I tried to take the arm home with me".More news: INQUIRING REPORTER: Should Alberta boycott BC wine?
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Romero, 40, has won nine of 10 fights in the UFC, and is now coming off a third-round knockout over the former, clear cut No. 1 contender.
An Olympic silver medal-winning freestyle wrestler for Cuba at the Sydney 2000 Games, it has been Romero's raw power that has carried him in his UFC career.
- Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt, heavyweights, unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27).
Why they should fight: Asker found out why UFC matchmakers have been hard-pressed to find willing opponents for Tai Tuivasa when he suffered a first-round TKO loss to the heavyweight prospect.