Romero, who has won eight of nine UFC bouts, takes on Rockhold, who has won six of his last seven, in the evening’s main event.
Check out the UFC 221 live blog below.
Round 1: Marc Goddard in the cage to oversee the main event. Leg kick by Rockhold. The former champion using kicks to keep Romero at bay, as well as a snapping jab. It looks like Rockhold’s left leg is bleeding from a checked kick. 1-2 by Rockhold backs Romero up. Very little striking output from Romero so far. Question mark kick by Romero is blocked. Outside leg kick for Rockhold. Romero whiffs on an overhand left. Leg kick for Rockhold. Romero lands one of his own, then another. He’s damaging Rockhold’s lead leg. Left hand over the top by Romero lands, Rockhold recovers. High kick blocked by Romero. Inside leg kick connects for Rockhold. Close-up flurry is defended by Romero. Jab by Rockhold, 1-2 combo follows, Romero counters straight right. Another 1-2 by Rockhold, Romero with the leg kick.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Rockhold.
Round 2: Romero rushes forward with punches and Rockhold is hurt. He goes to clinch Romero’s head backed up against the fence and Romero peppers Rockhold’s body with punches. Rockhold has to defend a series of head shots and he slips out and begins circling the cage again. Romero opening up big time in the opening minute of Round 2. Rockhold goes low with a kick, then high, neither are particularly effective. Another high kick blocked by Romero. Rockhold firing away with jabs, then a kick to the body. Romero punches Rockhold’s thigh. He charges forward with punches again and Rockhold backs up against the fence. Good body punch by Rockhold. Kick to the body by Romero. Romero misses with an uppercut, but Rockhold is backed up. Neither man committing to anything in the closing seconds. Rockhold finds Romero’s chin by tripling up on his jab.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Romero. Overall 19-19.
Round 3: Rockhold going back to the jab, doubling up on it now. Romero looking like he’s having difficulty getting past it. Triple jabs by Rockhold lead to a leg kick. Punch to the body by Romero, and another. Thigh punch for Romero. Jab-jab and then a devastating right hand for Romero. Rockhold collapses against the cage. Follow up uppercut by Romero and Rockhold goes limp. This one is over.
Official result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold by KO (punches) at 1:48 of Round 3