Yoel Romero became only the second fighter ever to stop Lyoto Machida via strikes tonight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 70 as he flung him to the mat in the third round and landed a flurry of elbows that rendered ‘The Dragon’ unconscious.
The main event is underway. Machida with an early kick. Again he throws up a high kick, but it’s blocked. Romero with a low kick.
Machida feeling out with another high kick attempt, but doesn’t land it. Romero with a solid body kick. Light leg kick from Romero and a harder one in return from Machida.
Really all kicks from both men so far at range as we reach the half-way mark of the round. They exchange body kicks. Romero tries to go upstairs, but Machida moves away. Body kick from Machida. One lands for Romero. Machida tries for a punch, but Romero gets out of reach.
Romero catches Machida with a body kick as he comes forward. Romero shoves Machida away hard and ‘The Dragon’ partially loses his balance then resets.
Machdia with a punch. Romero kicks to the knee and then tries a front kick. Exchange of kicks in close with Machida getting the better of it to the body. Spinning kick attempt from Machida. Machida looking to land a punch as the round approaches it’s conclusion, but Romero counters with one of his own.
Romero thinks about a spinning kick, but then pulls back from it. A brief exchange and both men land. Romero almost lands a head kick attempt as Machida backs away on the outside.
Couple of leg kicks from Machida. Romero stomps to the knee. Body kick and one to the leg from Machida. Romero lands to the mid-section as Machida looks to counter with a punch. Leg kick for Romero. He comes forward again, but Machida lands a left hand counter.
Body kick from Machida. Romero constantly pressing the action from the center of the cage, but Machida is staying active offensively from the outside.
Romero suddenly springs into a knee attack in close. Impressive athleticism, but didn’t do much offensively. Good punch for Machida.
Romero lands a left close to the cage. Machida with a leg kick. Romero with a one-two that lands. Front kick to the body from ‘The Dragon’. he gets caught with another left hand though as Romero starts to build a little momentum.
Romero gets off-balance as he gets overly engaged in trying to land offense. Machida lands a combination of kicks low and high. Final seconds of the round and suddenly Romero leaps off the cage with a superman punch then tries to flurry, but Machida avoids taking damage and shakes his finger good-naturedly at his opponent as they go back to their corners.
Good uppercut from Romero to start the third. Machida lands a jab. Hard leg kick for Romero. One in return now from Machida. Body kick from him now. One comes back from Romero.
An exchange of leg kicks. Romero still taking the center of the cage with Machida circling. Machida looks to clinch and that proves to be a huge mistake as Romero just bundles him to the mat easily.
Immediately Romero starts mauling Machida with rapid-fire elbows on the mat and that’s it, Machida’s out cold! Four, maybe five elbows was all it took.
Big win for Romero who coped well with the tricky Machida on the feet, but then really showed his superiority the instant the fight hit the mat. After this showing he should move firmly into the title picture at 185lbs.
As for Machida – on reflection returing to action just a couple of months after a tough loss to Luke Rockhold wasn’t such a good idea and the 37 year-old now has just one win in his last four bouts.