Read on for UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero main event results...
Cuban middleweight contender Yoel Romero made an emphatic case for a future shot at the 185-pound crown Saturday, knocking out former world champion Lyoto Machida in the third round of the UFC Fight Night main event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for his tenth and most important pro win.
> WATCH: Yoel Romero Octagon Interview | Yoel Romero Backstage Interview
“I have great respect for Lyoto, and this is the fight I expected,” Romero said. “He’s a great athlete.”
Despite Romero making his home in Florida, the fans chanted for Machida as the bout opened, but followers of “The Soldier of God” made their presence known moments later. Machida utilized his kicks well in the opening round, keeping Romero at range, but when the Cuban got inside, even his less than flush shots landed with a thud that put “The Dragon” off balance.
The pace remained high in the second round, Machida working effectively from the outside while the 38-year-old Romero stalked, throwing leg kicks in an effort to slow his foe down. As the frame progressed, Romero began to catch Machida with hard punches upstairs, his left hand being particularly bothersome for the Brazilian, who nearly got caught by a wild off-the-fence attack from Romero before the horn.
In the second minute of the third round, the kinetic chess match ended in an instant, Romero taking Machida to the mat suddenly and following up with a flush set of elbows that brought in referee John McCarthy to step in and halt the bout at 1:38 of the frame.
As for who’s next, Romero kept it simple.
“Whoever God puts in my path.”
With the win, the number six-ranked Romero moves to 10-1; the number four-ranked Machida, 37, falls to 22-7. The loss was Machida’s second straight, following an April submission defeat against Luke Rockhold.