Cuba’s Yoel Romero pulled off a double play at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, not just spoiling former middleweight champion Chris Weidman’s New York homecoming with a third round knockout, but also putting himself firmly in line for a crack at current champion Michael Bisping, who gave the thumbs down to the man he might face in the future.
Romero just smiled before responding.
“I love you, I’ll see you soon Mike,” he said. “You see now the real champion.”
More from UFC 205: Results | Milestone tracker | Who won bonuses at UFC 205? | McGregor adds 2nd title with Alvarez KO | Woodley-Thompson title tilt ruled majority draw | Jedrzejczyk survives brief scare to defend title | Romero drops Weidman, eyes champ Bisping | Former champ Tate ends career at UFC 205 | Edgar outduels Stephens, Khabib gets big win in prelims | Miller continues resurgence with FIGHT PASS victory | Carmouche makes history again in victory
Must watch: Dana White event recap
Backstage interviews: Conor McGregor | Eddie Alvarez Tyron Woodley | Karolina Kowalkiewicz | Frankie Edgar | Khabib Nurmagomedov | Tim Boetsch | Vicente Luque
Octagon interviews: Conor McGregor | Tyron Woodley & Stephen Thompson | Joanna Jedrzejczyk & Karolina Kowalkiewicz | Miesha Tate | Khabib Nurmagomedov | Jim Miller | Liz Carmouche
FIGHT PASS customers: Watch the first two fights of the night here
Order now: Get the historic UFC 205 replay here
He will certainly be a tough puzzle to figure out for “The Count,” but Weidman did have success early, mixing up his attack effectively in a dominant first round, using kicks, punches and takedowns to pile up the points. Romero only fought in spurts in the first five minutes, his most effective blow being a flush kick to the midsection that left Weidman’s stomach red.
That kick landed again for Romero in round two, but little else was, prompting the Olympic Silver medalist to go to his grappling game, which he had more success with as he held Weidman against the fence before putting the Long Islander on his back in the final minute of the stanza.
Romero went back to his striking in the third, and out of nowhere, he drilled Weidman with a jumping left knee to the head as the New Yorker sought a takedown. Weidman, bloodied, fell to the mat, and was unable to recover, with the final series of strikes bringing referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the fight 24 seconds into the round.
With the win, Romero moves to 12-1; Weidman fighting for the first time since he lost his title to Luke Rockhold in December of 2015, falls to 14-2.