UFC 221: "Romero vs Rockhold" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship made its way to Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia today for UFC 221: “Romero vs Rockhold.” The event was headlined by a UFC Interim Middleweight Championship bout between Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero, who missed weight, and Luke Rockhold.

In the heavyweight co-feature, Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt battled Curtis “Razor” Blaydes. Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa took on Cyril “Silverback” Asker, and Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews met Jingliang “The Leech” Li at 170 pounds. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC 221 main card.


UFC Interim Middleweight Championship

Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero vs Luke Rockhold

Round 1:
Rockhold opened the fight with leg kicks, but Romero checked them and Rockhold began to bleed from the shin. He continued to throw kicks and avoided Romero’s overhand lefts. Romero began to land leg kicks of his own and he rushed in with a combination. Rockhold picked up the pace and flurried with punches in the final ten seconds. Uneventful round. 10-9 Romero, barely.

Round 2:
Romero backed Rockhold up with a nice combination in round two, but Rockhold recovered and circled away from the fence. He kept his distance and the fighters resumed trading leg kicks. Romero cracked Rockhold with three overhand punches that forced him to retreat again. Kicks were exchanged in the second half of the round. Rockhold landed at a greater volume, but Romero scored with the more damaging strikes. 10-9 Romero.

Round 3:
The pace increased early in round three as Romero pressed forward with jab-kick combos. He floored Rockhold with a massive left hook and finished him with a second left hand on the ground.

Winner: Yoel Romero by KO (Punches) at 1:48 of round three. He improves to 13-2-0, but does not win the UFC Interim Middleweight Championship due to missing weight.


Curtis “Razor” Blaydes vs Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt

Round 1:
After a cautious opening minute, the fighters traded heavy punches in a brief exchange and both landed. Blaydes got Hunt down against the base of the cage, but Hunt quickly scrambled up to his feet. He rocked Blaydes with a right hand and dropped him to a knee with a second one. Blaydes stood and weathered more punches from Hunt until he was able to secure a takedown. Hunt stood with a bloodied Blaydes on his back and Blaydes dragged him down once again. He punched from the top in Hunt’s half-guard and Hunt threw elbows to the face from the bottom. Blaydes passed to mount in the dying seconds and took Hunt’s back before the bell. 10-9 Hunt.

Round 2:
Blaydes immediately clinched and worked for takedowns in the second round. Hunt circled away and just missed with a looping left hook. He shrugged off another takedown attempt from Blaydes and both fighters landed left hands. Blaydes got Hunt down into half-guard and landed short elbows from the top. He moved to S-mount and landed harder shorts late in the round. 10-9 Blaydes.

Round 3:
Blaydes took Hunt down to begin the final round and slammed him down a second time soon after. He moved to mount and used punches and elbows to set up a keylock attempt. Hunt battled back to his knees, but he ate punches from Blaydes along the way. As Hunt stood, Blaydes suplexed him back down to the mat. Each time Hunt regained his footing, Blaydes wasted no time in taking him down again. This continued all the way until the bell. 10-8 Blaydes.

Winner: Curtis Blaydes by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) after three rounds. He improves to 9-1-0, 1 NC.


Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa vs Cyril “Silverback” Asker

Round 1:
Hard punches were exchanged right away and Tuivasa rushed forward with a combination. He rocked Asker with a lead left hook and followed with flurries of punches and elbows to the head and body. Asker weathered the storm, but Tuivasa kept the pressure on with punches and elbows. He cut Asker with one elbow and landed another one that caused Asker to fall on his face, which prompted the fight to be waved off.

Winner: Tai Tuivasa by TKO (Punches & Elbows) at 2:18 of round one. He improves to 9-0-0.


Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews vs Jingliang “The Leech” Li

Round 1:
Li opened the action with lead left hooks and Matthews responded with lunging right hands. He followed with winging lefts and the fighters traded hard punches soon after. Matthews dropped Li with a counter left hand and mounted him on the ground. He scored with punches and elbows from the top until Li gave up his back. Li fought off Matthews’s rear-naked choke attempts until the bell. 10-9 Matthews.

Round 2:
The second round began with Li landing a big uppercut, but Matthews recovered and he dove on a guillotine choke. Li illegally dug his fingers into Matthews’s right eye, which caused it to begin to bleed heavily, and Matthews released the choke. Referee Mark Simpson watched the foul happen, but did nothing to intervene and the fighters soon returned to their feet. Matthews established his jab and an exchange of heavy punches followed in the final minute. 10-9 Matthews.

Round 3:
The pace slowed in the final round and Li pressed the action with one-twos as Matthews jabbed from a distance. Matthews floored Li with a right hand, but Li recovered quickly on the mat and reversed into top position. The fight returned to the feet with one minute remaining and Matthews scored with a jumping switch knee. Li immediately countered with a left hook and Matthews took him down. Li stood and landed a leg kick and a right hand as time expired. 10-9 Matthews.

Winner: Jake Matthews by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 12-3-0.


Tyson Pedro vs Saparbek Safarov

Round 1:
Safarov secured an early takedown against the base of the cage, but Pedro battled back to his feet and the fighters exchanged kicks. Pedro scored with a combination and Safarov shot in for a takedown after landing a counter one-two. Pedro stuffed it and he landed a big right hand to the temple. Both men landed knees and Safarov pinned Pedro against the cage. He briefly got Pedro down, but Pedro used a quick kimura to sweep into top position. Pedro wrenched back on Safarov’s left arm and Safarov tapped out.

Winner: Tyson Pedro by Submission (Kimura) at 3:54 of round one. He improves to 7-1-0.


Undercard Fights

– “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim defeated Damien “Beatdown” Brown by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 16-8-3 with the win.

– Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya defeated “Razor” Rob Wilkinson by TKO (Knees & Punches) at 3:37 of round two. He improves to 12-0-0 with the win.

– Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski defeated Jeremy “JBC” Kennedy by TKO (Punches) at 4:57 of round two. He improves to 17-1-0 with the win.

– Jussier “Formiga” da Silva defeated Ben “10” Nguyen by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:43 of round three. He improves to 21-5-0 with the win.

– Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson defeated Mizuto “Pugnus” Hirota by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 20-14-0, 1 NC with the win.

– José Alberto “El Teco” Quiñonez defeated Teruto “Yashabo” Ishihara by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 7-2-0 with the win.

– Luke “The Jedi” Jumeau defeated Daichi Abe by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 28-27) after three rounds. He improves to 13-4-0 with the win.