UFC 221: Luke Rockhold Gives Props to Yoel Romero, Following KO Loss


Saturday night, the UFC made its first foray into Western Australia for UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold, headlined by an elite middleweight scrap between Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero and former champ Luke Rockhold.

Robert Whittaker was originally expected to face Georges St-Pierre for the title, but St-Pierre vacated it and Whittaker, the interim champion, became the undisputed champion.

Romero won Sunday's bout in the third round with a powerful uppercut, but he had already been ruled ineligible for the interim middleweight belt after failing to make weight on Saturday.

According to the latest oddsmakers at YouWager, Rockhold is favored to win this fight, as he has odds of -185 to win, while Romero is being given a money line of +150 to prevail. "I had to work really fast to get all this done for this fight", he said.

As impressive as the performance was, it's hard to reward someone with a title fight after missing weight, even considering Romero took the fight on relatively short notice. It was a bout for the UFC Interim Middleweight Championship, or at least it was for Rockhold.

Rockhold appears to be in good spirits, though, who took to social media to congratulate the victor.

Romero hit the sauna in a bid to lose the excess weight, but when he returned he weighed in at 187.7. That said, the chances of his getting the next crack at Whittaker do seem good. Mark Hunt and his team, are among a regular group of world-class athletes who spend time there during fight camps.

Once again, he finished the fight in the third round, the seventh time he's ended things in the third frame, a tendency "the Soldier of God" puts down to the influence of the Holy Trinity. All the UFC has to do is show the replay of him knocking out Rockhold to get fans interested.

"Rockhold is a very good athlete and an fantastic fighter", Romero said after the fight.

If Asker wants to be considered more than division fodder, he needs to get some momentum going.

Romero had the breakthrough moment when he jumped forward with a big right followed by a huge left that sent Rockhold crushing to the canvas, before a left hand on the floor left Rockhold, cold.