Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

UFC 221: Romero isn't Middleweight champion despite KO'ing Rockhold

UFC 221: Romero isn't Middleweight champion despite KO'ing Rockhold

According to the UFC's David Shaw, it's still possible Romero could get the title shot when UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker returns later this year from injury.

UFC 221's co-main event of the evening features a heavyweight bout between the heavy-handed Mark Hunt and Curtis Blaydes.

While not the strongest card on paper, UFC 221 actually ended up delivering a night of entertaining fights from Down Under. Both fighters have serious knock out power and I don't expect this fight to reach the third round.

Romero vs. Rockhold, presented by AirAsia, will air live, February 11 at 11AM (local time, GMT+8) with prelims starting at 9AM (local time, GMT+8) on Fox Sports 1.

10, UFC fans witnessed a middleweight scrap between former UFC & Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold and former Olympian Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 221 in Perth, Australia. He came close, tipping the scale at 187.7 pounds on his second attempt, but he couldn't quite make it to 185 pounds in time.

Rockhold started well, peppering Romero with leg kicks and roundhouse kicks to the body a cautious first stanza.

The fight kicked off at a glacial pace, with Rockhold establishing the distance and picking at Romero with leg kicks.

Had he beaten Romero, Rockhold might have made a decision to stick around for a crack at Whittaker but after falling to his second defeat in three fights, a move 20lbs north can't be far away for the 33-year-old veteran. Rockhold was reportedly awarded 30% of Romero's purse which is said to have totalled about $100,000. He owns KO wins over the likes of Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman.

It was a tactic the 26-year-old upstart would turn to eight more times over the final two rounds to grind out a unanimous decision victory over the veteran knockout artist, earning him the biggest win of his career and pushing his unbeaten streak to five.

For Hunt, it's the second loss in his last three fights.

Undefeated UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa and his UFC light heavyweight brother-in-law, Tyson Pedro, were also among the Australian fighters putting in work at Boonchu ahead of UFC 221 in Perth.

Throughout the night, we saw six finishes from 12-fights.

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