After hobbling out of the Octagon on Saturday night where he had to be helped to the back by his manager and coaches, Romero revealed in a post fight interview that he believes he suffered a broken leg during one of the initial exchanges in the fight with Rockhold. The 2000 Olympic silver medalist blew away former 185-pound champion Luke Rockhold with punches in the third round of their UFC 221 main event on Saturday before an announced crowd of 12,437 at Perth Arena in Perth Australia.
But Cuba's Romero was ineligible to claim the interim title when he missed the weight at Friday's weigh-ins.
The third round was disastrous for Rockhold.
Originally, the event was supposed to feature undisputed middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defending his title against Rockhold.
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Report: Dana White confirms that Yoel Romero will fight Robert Whittaker next.@bisping @twooodley debate what a rematch would look like for the title? Whittaker, however, was forced off the card because of an injury, and the UFC replaced him with Romero. "I recovered after about three seconds, when I got the takedown".
He is now the top-ranked challenger for the middleweight title and could fight Whittaker as early as June, injury permitting. Unfortunately "The Soldier Of God" was unable to make weight and Rockhold was the only fighter eligible to win the interim strap.
In the second stanza, Romero blitzed Rockhold and landed some strikes. This was the first time in my career I could not get my body down.
Luke Rockhold to defeat Yoel Romero via TKO in Round 4.