Saturday night time, the UFC made its first foray into Western Australia for UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold, headlined by way of an elite middleweight scrap between Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero and previous champ Luke Rockhold.
While there wasn’t a ton of excitement surrounding this occasion leading into the action in the Octagon, the athletes delivered as constantly and provided a number of takeaways for us to speak about.
Here’s a study the key talking points from UFC 221.
Ageless Romero lays out Rockhold
Yoel Romero turns forty one next month, but the former Olympic silver medalist continues to compete at an elite stage inside the Octagon. Saturday night time, the ageless Cubam middleweight accrued the most extraordinary finish of his career, losing former champ Luke Rockhold with a smooth overhand left earlier than smashing home a clubbing left to shut out the court cases.
Both guys seemed to be pacing themselves early within the combat — Rockhold careful to keep away from Romero’s clubbing strength and Romero keen on protecting electricity after flagging past due in his first five-spherical fight. After splitting the primary two frames on maximum scorecards, Romero do away with the need for the judges inside the third, icing Rockhold with best pictures that left him slumped over and sleep along the fence.
It changed into a bittersweet performance for Romero, but, as he overlooked weight on Friday, nullifying his opportunity to win the period in-between title that changed into alleged to be at stake and making it difficult to hustle him into a rematch with Robert Whittaker whenever the middleweight champ is ready to return.
The ones things may be looked after out inside the future, though. For now, it’s time to enjoy the ageless awesomeness of the “Soldier of God.”
Curtis Blaydes keeps climbing heavyweight ladder
Early inside the first round, it gave the impression of Curtis Blaydes changed into going to get completed as Mark Hunt linked with the type of sledgehammer blows which have felled extra embellished competitors for years. On shaky legs, Blaydes pressed forward and drove through a takedown, using out the relaxation of the spherical in dominant role at the canvas.
It turned into a tactic the 26-year-old upstart might flip to 8 extra instances over the very last two rounds to grind out a unanimous decision victory over the veteran knockout artist, earning him the largest win of his profession and pushing his unbeaten streak to five.
This is the form of performance both Blaydes and the UFC wanted. For Blaydes, he is taking some other step forward in his development and turns again one of the maximum seasoned fighters within the division. For the UFC, it sends a young, enhancing heavyweight into the pinnacle five in a division that is in dire need of clean names.
Blaydes has critical upside and he’s displaying incredible increase with every appearance. Don’t be amazed if he’s difficult for the name within the subsequent 18 months.
Young Australians shine
Tyson Pedro kicked off the primary card by using gripping and ripping a nasty kimura on Saparbek Safarov.
Jake Matthews observed it up through turning in his most whole and spectacular performance to date, surviving a nasty eye gauge to brush the scorecards in opposition to Li Jingliang.
Tai Tuivasa made it 3 instantly by beating the breaks off Cyril Asker, hurting the Frenchman early before felling him with large lead elbows along the cage.
Pedro is the oldest of the lot at 26 and while Matthews competes inside the loaded welterweight department, Pedro and Tuivasa compete in shallow weight training, stepping in at mild heavyweight and heavyweight respectively. although those weren’t large fights for the mainstream audience or possibly even a few hardcore fans, that is exactly why those three have been on the main card.
These are the styles of younger, rising potentialities every person wishes to be being attentive to going forward and the form of ability nearby stars the ability crowd in Perth paid to peer.
New names emerge in 3 divisions
Jussier Formiga has been one of the nice flyweights in the global for numerous years, but the Brazilian stalwart gathered the most fantastic victory of his UFC career on Saturday, rocking Ben Nguyen with a spinning backfist earlier than choking out the followed Australian within the 0.33.
In a war of surging featherweights, Alexander Volkanovski straight up smashed unbeaten Canadian Jeremy Kennedy, setting him away inside the closing seconds of the second round. Now four-0 inside the UFC, the previous rugby player is proving to be a pressure to be reckoned with inside the one hundred forty five-pound ranks and civilly called on the UFC to begin matching him up with the bullies within the department like Andre Fili and Jeremy Stephens.
Hardcore fans had been hyped for the advent of “The remaining Stylebender,” Israel Adesanya, and the kickboxing standout and unbeaten middleweight showed why on Saturday. After avoiding myriad takedown attempts within the establishing spherical, Adesanya started out piecing up Rob Wilkinson within the 2d, sooner or later bringing the combat to a near with a patient, punishing onslaught alongside the fence.
All 3 guys made the maximum in their opportunities in Perth and need to experience a step up in competition subsequent time out and optimistically garner a bit greater interest heading into their observe-up assignments.
In maximum jurisdictions, judges rankings are tallied and put on a grasp score sheet, those multi-columned pages fight enthusiasts are used to seeing on Twitter whenever there’s a close or debatable selection within the cage.
As it turns out, the Western Australia combat sports activities commission doesn’t launch the names of the judges scoring the fights at ringside or offer a breakdown of ways they scored each body.
Glaringly, this isn’t an excellent look and it’s even worse while there are questionable scorecards and mainly terrible while the ones scorecards land in choose of an Australian or New Zealand-based fighter, as they did in the establishing bout of the evening.
It’s no longer that I had a trouble with Luke Jumeau triumphing — I concept he might get the nod 29-28 against Daichi Abe — but when the scores read 29-27, 28-27 and 29-28, i might type of like to recognize how the ones officers exceeded out the eights, nines and 10s to reach at the ones totals.