UFC 221 Romero vs. Rockhold: Romero Flattens Rockhold with Third-Round KO

11:30pm UTC Feb 10, 2018Perth
Nathan McCarter

UFC 221 saw Yoel Romero knock Luke Rockhold out in the third round of the main event for the interim UFC middleweight championship at Perth Arena in Australia. However, after missing weight, Romero was ineligible to win the title. Still, the showing puts Romero as the unquestioned No. 1 contender. In the co-main event, Curtis Blaydes survived and won a decision against Mark Hunt as he continues his rise in the heavyweight division. Miss something? Check out the full UFC 221 recap below.

  1. February 11, 2018
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    UFC 221 Full Results

    Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold by KO at 1:48 of the third round Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker by TKO at 2:13 of the first round Jake Matthews def. Li Jingliang by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28) Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) at 3:54 of the first round Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Israel Adesanya vs. Rob Wilkinson by TKO at 3:37 of the second round Alexander Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy by TKO at 4:57 of the second round Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:43 of the third round Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Jose Alberto Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)

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  4. Invalid Date
  5. February 11, 2018
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    Official Result

    Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold by KO at 1:48 of the third round.

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    Yoel Romero vs. Luck Rockhold: Round 3

    Rockhold's jab sticks in the face of Romero. Rockhold throws the low leg kick once again. Romero has Rockhold circling on the outside, but he hasn't put together a flurry yet.

    He doesn't need to. He levels Rockhold! One more shot on the ground puts him out.

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    Yoel Romero vs. Luck Rockhold: Round 2

    Romero fires forward at the beginning of the second and he tags Rockhold. He works the body as Rockhold holds the Thai clinch. Another flurry from Romero. He has Rockhold's attention for sure.

    Romero slows himself down. UFC commentator says Romero is recharging, and that's a great descriptor. Rockhold has a small mouse on the right side of his head. Romero springs forward yet again. Rockhold avoids the strikes, but Romero's second round has him reacting a lot more.

    Nice jab from Rockhold in the final minute. He may be starting to feel it again as Romero backs off the gas. They exchange words after the horn.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Romero.

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    Yoel Romero vs. Luck Rockhold: Round 1

    Rockhold starts with a low outside leg kick. Another hard outside leg kick lands. Rockhold's leg is bleeding from the checked kick. Rockhold starting to gradually up the tempo. Romero still yet to really get going. He may be conserving energy after a hard weight cut.

    Romero misses with a winging overhand left. Rockhold staying with the low outside leg kick. They exchange kicks. Romero landing strong leg kicks of his own. Romero now starting to up his volume. Rockhold uses a step-in knee that is mostly blocked.

    Good jab from the former champion at the end of the round.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Rockhold.

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    Windy City Return?

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    Official Result

    Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27).

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    Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes: Round 3

    Blaydes shoots within five seconds, gets the takedown and Hunt stands. Blaydes slams him back to the canvas and mounts. Not a good sign for Hunt.

    Blaydes starts to work for an arm lock, but Hunt pulls out easily. Hunt is back to half-guard. Hunt gives up his back in order to attempt to stand, but Blaydes is staying heavy on him. Half the round remains as Hunt stands. Blaydes just tosses him back down. Hunt stands again. Blaydes puts him back down again.

    Blaydes is in side control. Hunt escapes and stands, but he only has a minute to work with. Blaydes just changes levels and takes Hunt down. A workmanlike performance from Blaydes after nearly being finished. 10 takedowns on the evening.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Blaydes. Bleacher Report scores the fight: 29-28 Blaydes.

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    Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes: Round 2

    Blaydes goes for a takedown right away. He is done playing the striking game with Hunt. The "Super Samoan" defends the first attempt. Hunt just misses on an uppercut that would have put Blaydes in orbit.

    Hunt slowing the fight back down. Hunt shrugs Blaydes off again. Blaydes gets another takedown. This time it's in the center of the cage. Blaydes staying busy but not doing much damage. Blaydes not giving Hunt any space to stand back up.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Blaydes.

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    Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes: Round 1

    Blaydes throwing out jabs to establish the distance. Brief exchange, but nothing landing cleanly. A lot of tension filling the air.

    Hunt lands a counter-right. Hunt content on waiting for Blaydes. Takedown for Blaydes. Hunt back up right away. Halfway through the first. Hunt rocks Blaydes! Again with a right! Blaydes surviving, but Hunt is picking his shots. Blaydes gets a desperation takedown. Hunt stands, but Blaydes drags him back down on pure strength.

    Blaydes is holding position and throwing some short punches that are mostly blocked. He survives the first after nearly getting finished.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Hunt.

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    Official Result

    Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker by TKO at 2:13 of the first round.

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    Tai Tuivasa vs. Cyril Asker: Round 1

    Tuivasa testing Asker early. Asker circling on the outside, but Tuivasa is trapping him on the cage. They are throwing. Tuivasa hurts Asker. Clubbing shots. Tuivasa goes to the body. Big elbow from Tuivasa. Asker is eating a lot of punishment.

    Tuivasa having his way with Asker. He eats another left. Now a right elbow. Asker needs to do something. Tuivasa mugged Asker. The referee finally stepped in.

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    Official Result

    Jake Matthews def. Li Jingliang by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28).

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    Is Dwight Schrute His Coach?

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    Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang: Round 3

    The replay between rounds shows an egregious foul during the guillotine attempt. A blatant eye gouge from Jingliang that the referee did not react to.

    Matthews runs the pipe on a takedown, but he can't keep Jingliang down. Matthews lands a counter left hook. Matthews levels Jingliang with a right! Jingliang recovers to take Matthews' back in a scramble after it looked like he might be done. Matthews gets back to his guard.

    They go back to the feet. Matthews digging for a takedown, but Jingliang defends. One minute left. Matthews comes in strong with a knee and Jingliang connects with a right of his own. Matthews lands a takedown in the final 15 seconds.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Matthews. Bleacher Report scores the fight: 30-27 Matthews.

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    Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang: Round 2

    Jingliang clips Matthews, but Matthews connects with a strong punch of his own. Matthews goes for a guillotine. It is deep. Jingliang gets his head out. Matthews is bleeding. They are back to the feet. Matthews lands another looping right hand.

    Matthews shows good head movement against the cage as he dodges most of Jingliang's attacks. Both men starting to throw wild haymakers. The pace is slowing. But only for a moment. They go right back to firing away. Matthews talking to Jingliang.

    Wild round.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Matthews.

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    Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang: Round 1

    Feeling out process between the two with Jingliang being the aggressor. Matthews lands a right hand. Now a left connects for the Aussie. Matthews willing to wait on Jingliang.

    Jingliang lands a right, but he gets dropped by Matthews in return! Matthews mounts. 1:45 remaining in the round. Matthews postures up and lands strong ground and pound as Jingliang gives up his back. Jingliang does well to defend the choke and escape the round.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Matthews.

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    Welterweight Action Is Next

    Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang will be your second main card bout.

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    Official Result

    Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) at 3:54 of the first round.

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    Tyson Pedro vs. Saparbek Safarov: Round 1

    Safarov starts off with an inside leg kick. Safarov takes Pedro down off a leg kick. Pedro scoots to the cage and stands up. Pedro escapes.

    Safarov catches another kick, but this time Pedro stays upright. Pedro lands a right and both men start to get wild in an exchange. Not much else landed, but both men were swinging away. Pedro lands another hard right that staggers Safarov a bit. Safarov back to clinching.

    Safarov puts Pedro on the mat. Pedro stands again. Now Pedro looks for a kimura! He's got it locked up and torques it! It's over!

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    The Good Ol' Days

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    Preliminary Fights Quick Results

    Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Israel Adesanya vs. Rob Wilkinson by TKO at 3:37 of the second round Alexander Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy by TKO at 4:57 of the second round Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:43 of the third round Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Jose Alberto Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)

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    Official Result

    Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

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    Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Round 3

    Kim goes to the body with a short hook. Sharp inside leg kick from Kim. Most strikes are not connecting. Half the round is gone.

    Kim taking open shots, but he is not putting together strong combinations. Nice leg kicks from Brown. That is just about all he offered this fight. Final minute. Brown lands another good leg kick with no urgency to follow it up. Nice 1-2 from Kim lands cleanly.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Kim. Bleacher Report scores the fight: 30-27 Kim.

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    Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Round 2

    Not a lot of meaningful offense in the opening minute. Kim is still showing off quality strikes, but he's not close enough to connect.

    Kim gets close enough to land a right and then exits. Inside leg kick from Brown. Now he goes to the outside. Nice jab from Kim. Brown lands a couple short shots when Kim comes forward. Slow pace in the second. Brown wanting to mix it up more, but Kim's distance management is preventing him from making this a brawl.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Kim.

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    Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Round 1

    Nice inside leg kick to start off the fight for Kim. Good straight right from Kim. He looks sharp early. Low leg kick from Brown takes the feet out from under Kim.

    Another good low leg kick from Brown. Those are having a big effect on Kim. Both fighters are being measured. Kim getting the distance back by using his jab. Nice step-in right from Kim. Kim now touching Brown with the jab.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Kim.

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    Featured Prelim

    Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim will be your featured prelim for the evening.

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    As Advertised.

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    Official Result

    Israel Adesanya vs. Rob Wilkinson by TKO at 3:37 of the second round.

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    One to 👀

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    Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya: Round 2

    Adesanya putting the pressure on Wilkinson now. Adesanya defends a takedown attempt. Nice left from Adesanya. Adesanya mixing it up as Wilkinson covers up. Wilkinson responds with another takedown attempt.

    They separate again. Adesanya lands a knee. Wilkinson is tiring and Adesanya is walking him down. The knee broke the nose of Wilkinson. More combinations from Adesanya. Wilkinson covering up but offering nothing in return. Adesanya picking his shots. Punches, knees from Adesanya. He's getting brutalized! The referee finally steps in.

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    Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya: Round 1

    Wilkinson comes forward right away. He's not going to back down from the much ballyhooed newcomer. Wilkinson clinches. Not much offense from Wilkinson, but he's keeping his body weight on Adesanya.

    Adesanya gets away with two minutes to go in the round. Low leg kicks from Adesanya. Wilkinson catches a foot, Adesanya rolls through a takedown attempt. Wilkinson staying clinched up. Wilkinson secures a takedown, but Adesanya is back up.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Wilkinson.

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    Get to Your Screens Now, Adesanya Debuts Next

    Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya is next up and you won't want to miss this debut!

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    Official Result

    Alexander Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy by TKO at 4:57 of the second round.

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    Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski: Round 2

    Volkanovski is right in on another takedown. Kennedy works his way up without taking much damage, but he eats a strong knee to the gut as soon as he stands. They break.

    Kennedy grabs as leg, but Volkanovski defends. Kennedy is back on the canvas with Volkanovski on top. Two minutes to work. Volkanovski works in some more ground and pound. Kennedy is surviving, but Volkanovski is starting to land bigger and bigger strikes. Referee Marc Goddard is forced to step in and save Kennedy before the bell.

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    Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski: Round 1

    They clinch almost immediately and Volkanovski is the one forcing the position. Volkanovski takes Kennedy down. Volkanovski starting to land short ground and pound on Kennedy.

    Half the round is gone. Kennedy is active from the bottom, but Volkanovski's pressure is too much. Volkanovski starting to turn up the ground strikes. He still has one minute left to bury Kennedy under the pressure.

    Kennedy works up to his feet. That's a small win after taking a lot of punishment.

    Bleacher Report scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski.

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    Featherweights Are Next

    Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski are next on the card.

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    Official Result

    Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:43 of the third round.

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    😴