Nevertheless, sensing that the fight could be stopped at any time by the ringside medical team in lieu of the leg injury, Romero moved forward with reckless intent in Round 2. "I recovered after about three seconds, when I got the takedown". In the blink of an eye, Rockhold was sent into a career tailspin while Romero, once again, was an unstoppable monster. Stunned, Rockhold looked to clinch up but Romero simply began obliterating his midsection with hooks.
After a cagey first round that saw both fighters trade kicks and blows from a distance, Romero caught Rockhold early in the second round.
From the outset, the fight didn't go as planned. "I had six- and seven-round sparrings".
Weight, not cardio ended up preventing Romero from leaving the octagon with a belt around his waist. He has no history of missing weight, other than last weekend. He initially weighed 188 pounds but got down to only 187.7 with a two-hour allotment. The event was capped off with a violent third round knockout by Yoel Romero. "Some (expletive) as usual". Beating Hunt makes him relevant, and if he can get another notable win, "Razor" will be securely in the title picture. With the win, however, Romero may well have earned himself a shot at undisputed champion Robert Whittaker and a chance to avenge the only defeat of his ten-fight stint in the UFC anyway. Romero was fined 30 percent of his purse last weekend, a substantial chunk of change.More news: Spending Bill Needs House Approval to Avoid Government Shutdown
Romero has received criticism for his cardio - fading in the later rounds against Robert Whittaker past year - but he remained powerful and explosive enough to land a brutal knockout blow with 1min 28 seconds left in the round. He has since returned to training.
An Olympic silver medal-winning freestyle wrestler for Cuba at the Sydney 2000 Games, it has been Romero's raw power that has carried him in his UFC career. He also did the UFC a solid by taking the fight with Rockhold on a month's notice, which has to be considered. Entering Saturday, Romero posted eight straight wins in the UFC's 185-pound division before falling by unanimous decision to Whittaker, 27, in the Fight of the Night at UFC 213 on July 8.
Hunt landed a huge shot to drop Blaydes early in the fight, prompting Blaydes to turn to his wrestling.