Nevertheless, one ought to note that since Romero missed weight he wasn't eligible to win the Interim UFC Middleweight title. 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. After all, Whittaker won the interim title from Romero last summer at UFC 213 in a closely-contested, back-and-forth fight.
The preliminary fights will get underway at 11:30pm BST on Saturday night.
Romero turns 41 in April but shows no signs of slowing down and still has the ability to end any fight in a heartbeat with his brutal, fight-ending power. He owns KO wins over the likes of Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman. However, several medical issues forced Whittaker off the card, forcing UFC officials to book Rockhold against Romero instead.
Romero - competing on a broken right leg sustained in the first round - proved he has fists of fury, as well. However, Romero had an extra two hours of weight cutting and will have to fight less than 24 hours later. He also did the UFC a solid by taking the fight with Rockhold on a month's notice, which has to be considered. Rockhold fell along the fence, and Romero pounced, landing another left to put him away. However despite the awesome victory, one has to wonder what's next for Yoel Romero. As Romero so often does, he came to life in the second round.
But the 26-year old American played it wisely and changed things up, taking Hunt down to the canvas, where the two spent most of the remainder of the fight as Blaydes superior fitness eventually told, the judges scoring it 30-26, 30-26 and 29-27 in the United States fighter's favour. I'm the wrestler, I'm the judoka master champ, and I'm going to drag him to where I want to be. That performance foreshadowed the finishing sequence in the third, as Rockhold found himself looking up at the lights before he knew what hit him.
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