Yoel Romero took the fight on a four-week notice after Robert Whittaker, who bested him for the interim title back in 2017 before being given the full title, pulled out with an injury.
A middleweight title bout between Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero served as the main event of tonight’s UFC 221 pay-per-view event in Perth, Australia.
Romero was not eligible for the title after missing the championship weight of 185-pounds twice yesterday.
Despite not earning a title, Yoel Romero scored perhaps the biggest and most violent knockout wins of his UFC career.
Yoel Romero collapsed Luke Rockhold in the 3rd round. Luke Rockhold worked his kicking game early and his jab late, but Romero would not be denied, landing an explosive 1-1-2 that Rockhold was not ready for. Rockhold hit the deck and Romero followed up with a single ground strike.
In the final round, a more frequent jab coming from the side of Rockhold, Romero got in a lunging right hand. He dropped Rockhold with a vicious right hand and the former middleweight champion was out cold.
Yoel Romero is now 13-2 after his 11th career finish. Rockhold (16-4) has lost two of his past three.
Check out the action below:
Romero charges at Rockhold with punches across the Octagon! @YoelRomeroMMA coming out swinging in round 2! #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/J4w5kQpRvB
— UFC (@ufc) February 11, 2018