At 36, time is not on Yoel Romero's side as his mixed martial arts career revs up.
But he's making up for it by improving at a rapid pace.
The 2000 wrestling silver medalist for Cuba put on an impressive display in the main-card opener at UFC on FOX 11 on Saturday. He overwhelmed Brad Tavares in a middleweight bout and scored a unanimous-decision win in Orlando. The judges' scores were 30-27 across the board.
Romero mixes scary power in his strikes with his world class wrestling, and it didn't take long for him to display both in the opening round. Romero pushed the action from the outset and scored a several takedowns to easily claim the round.
In the second, Romero lulled Tavares into charging forward, then met him with a nasty standing elbow, which opened a gash on Tavares' hairline. Romero went on to dominate the rest of the round.
The Hawaiian Tavares had a sense of urgency in round three, but Romero frustrated him with a takedown midway through the round to seal the deal. He punctuated his victory with a big throw in the closing seconds.
The American Top Team product improved to 8-1 in his career and won his fourth straight fight. Tavares dropped to 12-2 and had a five-fight win streak snapped.