Romero knocks out Rockhold in Perth UFC

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Cuban Yoel Romero has shaken off his weigh-in farce to beat American Luke Rockhold with a stunning TKO in their middleweight showdown at UFC 221 at Perth Arena.

Romero won Sunday’s bout in the third round with a powerful but he was ruled ineligible for the interim middleweight belt after failing to make weight on Saturday.

The 40-year-old initially weighed in at 188.3 pounds (85.4kg) but was given two more hours to meet the 185-pound limit.

Romero hit the sauna in a bid to lose the excess weight, but when he returned he weighed in at 187.7.

Romero won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in wrestling but he did the damage in the ring with his fists on Sunday.

He knocked Rockhold to the ground with a swinging left punch in the third round before delivering a heavy uppercut while Rockhold sat stunned to end the contest.

Romero only took the fight at short notice after Australian Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw last month after contracting a staph infection.

No fighter could get the upper hand in the opening round but Romero unleashed a flurry of punches in the second to put Rockhold on the back foot.

Romero also tried to target Rockhold’s right knee, which had been seen strapped on Instagram in the lead-up to the fight.

The knockout blow came in the third round.

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