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It's a shame Yoel Romero didn't make weight, otherwise he'd be leaving Australia with UFC gold.
The Cuban wrecking-machine was drafted in on short notice following the withdrawal of champion Robert Whittaker who was supposed to fight Georges St-Pierre.
After beating Michael Bisping to claim UFC gold in the 185lbs division, the Canadian superstar shortly vacated the title with UFC promoting Whittaker to undisputed status, scheduling him against Luke Rockhold.
Though a staph infection to Whittaker prompted another UFC 221 headline change.
Finally, Rockhold vs. Romero was set.
But ahead of the fight, Romero failed to make the championship weight. As a result, he was unable to win the interim-title. Unlike his opponent.
And on fight night, Romero dished out a vicious knockout to beat the former Strikeforce middleweight champion.
Romero dropped his foe with a brutal overhand left, before landing a hellacious uppercut putting Rockhold to sleep.
Good lord - 'The Soldier of God', ladies and gentleman.
Rockhold appears to be in good spirits, though, who took to social media to congratulate the winner.
Respect to Yoel that man is made of steel.- Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) February 11, 2018
Despite tipping the scales heavy, Romero is set to face full-champion Whittaker as confirmed by Dana White who spoke at the post-fight press conference.
Asked Dana White if plan is to have Yoel Romero fight Robert Whittaker next, despite the fact he didn't win an interim title tonight.- Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 11, 2018
Meanwhile, the 40-year-old returns to the win column while improving his professional MMA record to 13-2 (9-1 in UFC).
His scalps include Derek Brunson, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, 'Jacare', Chris Weidman and now Rockhold. Very impressive, Yoel.
If Romero and Whittaker do indeed fight again, it'll be a rematch of their 2017 bout at UFC 213.
Whittaker got the judges nod in a brilliant back-and-forth bout.
Yet a leg injury may prevent a sequel from happening any time soon.
I'm told Romero hurt his shin during the fight, that's what was bothering him post-fight. Too early to tell the nature of any injury, but it's the shin that appears to be affected.- Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 11, 2018
Who do you like in a potential rematch? Whittaker or Romero? Let us know.