Yoel Romero’s punching power proved to be too much for luke Rockhold tonight in the main event of UFC 221, leading to a third round KO finish.
The main event interim middleweight title fight is underway Down Under!
Hard leg kick for Rockhold to start, but it’s checked. He looks for a jab but doesn’t land. Aother leg kick for him. Now a push kick.
Back to the leg kick again for Rockhold. Romero doing a good job of checking and Rockhold now has a little blood from a cut to his shin. Now a head kick attempt from Rockhold that’s blocked.
Higher leg kick to the thigh this time from Rockhold. Now back to lower on the leg. Again he lands it. Windmill style overhand from Romero doesn’t connect. He lands an oblique kick.
Romero thinks about a flying knee, but doesn’t commit to it. He lands a leg kick. Another connects for Romero and Rockhold responds with one of his own.
Romero steaming forward suddenly and lands a left hand and tries to do so again as Rockhold backs up. Again Romero tries the same tactic without finding as solid a conenction this time.
leg kick for Rockhold. He steps in and lands a knee. another leg kick. Inside leg kick this time from the former champion. He partially connects with a right hand.
Rockhold picking up the pace with punches to end the first round, but doesn’t land anything too meaningful.
Romero with a big flurry of punches to start the second round and he backs Rockhold up against the cage. into the clinch Romero lands a series of body shots, then backs up.
Romero thinks about another big forward combination, but doesn’t have the same level of success this time around. Rockhold resets and starts to work behind the jab.
Rockhold with a leg kick and then a head kick attempt that’s blocked. A couple of push kicks now from Rockhold. Leg kick for Romero. Jab and a straight left behind it for Rockhold.
Punch to the thigh from Romero. He again charges into a series of left and right hands that backs Romero up. Another punch to the leg from Romero.
Romero with a front kick to the body. One-two for Rockhold, but mostly just bouncing off Romero’s gloves with his punches so far. Leg kick for Rockhold is checked.
Solid jab for Rockhold. Uppercut attempt for Romero misses. left hand lands off a one-two from Rockhold. Now a right hook.
A couple of jabs for Rockhold. Romero looking to respond in kind, but Rockhold backs up. More jabs from Rockhold as he starts to dial in his range with that particular strike.
Rockhold working the jab early in the third as he circles around Romero. A couple of punches and then a leg kick from Rockhold.
Nice jabs again from Rockhold, but Romero is stalking him. Right hand gets through for Romero.
Romero comes pressing forward and lands a big left hand that floors Rockhold and then follows it up with another massive punch that knocks the former champion out!
Huge finish for Romero and it’s just unfortunate that after that performance he won’t be able to claim the interim title due to having failed to make weight for the contest.