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UFC 178 results: Yoel Romero finishes Tim Kennedy in wild, controversial brawl

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS - For the better part of nine minutes, Yoel Romero battered a game Tim Kennedy. The finish seemed all but inevitable.

And we got there. But boy, were there twists and turns along the way in what turned into an epic UFC 178 middleweight encounter.

After looking down and out, Kennedy tagged Romero with 15 seconds left in the second round and nearly finished him in a staggering reversal of fortune. Romero was saved by the horn.

Romero looked out on his feet in his corner between rounds. But after a delay in getting the American Top Team fighter's stool out of the cage, Romero seemed energized. And he finished off Kennedy with a brutal series of punches to finish the bout.

Referee John McCarthy, in his first Nevada fight since 2007, waved off the bout at 58 seconds of the third round.

It was the 36-year old Romero's fifth straight UFC win, as he improved to 9-1 overall.

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Romero tried to avoid Joe Rogan's postfight questions about the corner delay, saying "sorry." He then went on to thank the fans.

"For everybody here, I love you guys, I love you so much. I fight for everybody here, God bless USA."

Kennedy (18-5) had a four-fight winning streak snapped.