UFC 221

UFC 221: Romero knocks out Rockhold, but ineligible to win interim belt

Yoel Romero (13-2-0) used some nifty striking in the third round to put away Luke Rockhold (16-4-0) in the main event of UFC 221 Saturday night but because he missed weight for the bout is ineligible to collect the interim middleweight championship.

 

Rockhold used kickboxing in the first two rounds, while Romero countered with striking. But the Cuban decked Rockhold early in the third round with a left hand with a follow up strike that forced referee Marc Goddard to call the bout.

Romero, who was the No.1 contender going into the contest, will likely remain the top contender for the belt, while Rockhold, who was No. 2, will probably remain where is or not far from it.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts.

UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS 

LUKE JUMEAU VS. DAICHI ABE

 

WINNER: LUKE JUMEAU VIA UD (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: LUKE JUMEAU VIA UD

Andrews: That was a good first round by Abe, but Jumeau sucked it up and head kicked his way to the decision. Good comeback.

Andrews Prediction: Luke Jumeau via UD

TERUTO ISHIHARA VS. JOSE QUINONEZ

 

WINNER: JOSE QUINONEZ VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: TERUTO ISHIHARA VIA UD

Andrews: Ishihara could’t muster enough offence unfortunately. Good win for Jose.

ROSS PEARSON VS. MIZUTO HIROTA 

 

WINNER: ROSS PEARSON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ROSS PEARSON VIA UD

Andrews: Pearson did enough for the win, but it’s clear his best days may be behind him.

TSN 2 PRELIMS 

#4 JUSSIER FORMAGA VS. BEN NGUYEN

 

WINNER JUSSIER FORMIGA VIA TECH SUBMISSION R3 1:43

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BEN NGUYEN VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Wow, what a fight and third round. When a spinning backlist actually lands, it can produce beautiful results and it did for Formiga. Props to Nguyen for going out on his shield and not tapping.

Andrews Prediction: Ben Nguyen via submission

ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VS. JEREMY KENNEDY

 

WINNER: ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 4:57

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VIA UD

Andrews: Alex The Great was just too much. Good win.

ROB WILKINSON VS. ISRAEL ADESANYA 

 

WINNER: ISRAEL ADESANYA VIA TKO (STRIKES ) R2 3:37

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ROB WILKINSON VIA UD

Andrews: Israel did it. He’s got some hype now, but he’s not Anderson Silva yet.

DAMIEN BROWN VS. DONG HYUN KIM 

WINNER: DONG HYUN KIM VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DONG HYUN KIM VIA TKO

Andrews: Not much of a barnburner. This fight will likely be password protected in UFC Fight Pass.

MAIN CARD

TYSON PEDRO VS. SAPARBEK SAFAROV 

 

WINNER: TYSON PEDRO VIA SUBMISSION (KIMURA) R1 3:54

ANDREWS PREDICTION: TYSON PEDRO VIA TKO

Andrews: Beautiful Kimura transition by Tyson!

JAKE MATTHEWS VS. LI JINGLIANG 

 

WINNER: JAKE MATTHEWS VIA UD (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: LI JINGLIANG VIA UD

Andrews: Matthews won with the striking and the power I didn’t think he had to hurt Jingliang. Good win for the kid.

TAI TUIVASA VS. CYRIL ASKER

 

WINNER: TAI TUIVASA VIA TKO

ANDREWS PREDICTION: TAI TUIVASA VIA TKO

Andrews: This time it was elbows for Tai. Marvellous win and shimmy.

#5 MARK HUNT VS. #9 CURTIS BLAYDES 

 

WINNER: CURTIS BLAYDES VIA UD (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MARK HUNT VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow, Blaydes survived the typical Hunt onslaught and used his wrestling and ground and pound to get a breakthrough win. I thought Hunt wold catch him and he didn’t. Great win.

MAIN EVENT 

#1 YOEL ROMERO VS. #2 LUKE ROCKHOLD 

UFC 221

WINNER: YOEL ROMERO VIA TKO R3 1:48

ANDREWS PREDICTION: LUKE ROCKHOLD VIA UD

Andrews: Rockhold tried to use kickboxing and patience but Romero still broke through with those left hands. That is impressive. Now, if he can make weight, he can win the belt.

@kenaiandrews

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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