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

Tricia Pearson
February 12, 2018

For Romero, a win here would also set him up nicely for another shot at the belt.

After two closely contested rounds, Romero exploded with an overhand left, which dropped the former middleweight champion.

Luke Rockhold can win the interim middleweight title but Romero won't claim the belt if he wins the fight.

Those things can be sorted out in the future, though.

Hunt started strongly and looked to be on course for a win after rocking Blaydes with some heavy shots in the opener.

This is the kind of performance both Blaydes and the UFC needed.

This 185-pound division needs to move forward.

Blaydes has serious upside and he's showing tremendous growth with each appearance.

Tuivasa's brother-in-law and training partner, light-heavyweight fan favourite Tyson Pedro, scored an equally impressive victory, defeating Russian Saparbek Safarov with an eye-catching kimura first-round submission finish.

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The fireworks came just before that bout though, when two more unknown heavyweights in Tai Tuivasa and Cyril Asker battled it out.

Why they should fight: Jingliang's winning streak ended with a unanimous-decision loss to Jake Matthews.

Prior to this fight, Rockhold told the media that it was becoming increasingly hard for him to make the middleweight limit and that a move to light-heavyweight was "imminent." .

As for Rockhold, after losing the middleweight title in devastating fashion against Michael Bisping, injuries kept him on the shelf for over a year, before his come back, last September, to take on David Branch.

Rockhold, ranked No. 2, was expecting to put on a better showing than his last fight, when he earned a second-round TKO over David Branch at UFC Fight Night in Pittsburgh on September 16.

In a battle of surging featherweights, Alexander Volkanovski straight up smashed unbeaten Canadian Jeremy Kennedy, putting him away in the closing seconds of the second round.

"Rob can't fight for a few months". Sometimes one needs a little alone time.

Whittaker was initially meant to fight Rockhold in Perth on Sunday in what would have been his first title defence. Luke Rockhold, shown on December 12, 2015, in Las Vegas.

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