While there wasn't a ton of excitement surrounding this event leading into the action in the Octagon, the athletes delivered as always and provided a number of takeaways for us to discuss.
Still, he needed to rise to the occasion at UFC 221 and make the most of this gift. Rockhold would have taken the belt with a victory.
The third round saw more of the same, the duo duking it out at arms length before Romero suddenly unleashed a huge overhand left that caught Rockhold flush on the chin and sent him crashing to the canvas, before following it up with a vicious left uppercut as the referee jumped in to stop the fight.
After a tentative opening round, Romero, a Miami resident by way of Cuba, picked up the pace in the second, darting into range and landing punches in bunches on Rockhold (16-4), a former UFC and Strikeforce champ from Santa Cruz, Calif.
Romero missed weight Friday and therefore was ineligible to win the belt despite landing two devastating left hands to finish Rockhold at 1:28 of the third round.
Those things can be sorted out in the future, though.
Good lord - "The Soldier of God", ladies and gentleman.
The win is a particularly impressive one for Jumeau who handed Abe his first career loss. The two fought last July, and Whittaker won the bout via decision. He has also revealed that with 12,437 people in attendance, Gate at Perth Arena was $3.6 AUD million, which makes it the highest grossing sports event ever held at the venue.
This 185-pound division needs to move forward. Don't be surprised if he's challenging for the title in the next 18 months.
Twenty-four-year-old heavyweight Tai Tuivasa led the way with a dominant display of power punching as he battered gritty Frenchman Cyril Asker to a first-round TKO, then celebrated by drinking a beer from a fan's shoe.
"The weight situation, I don't think that's going to play into it (when it comes to a title shot)", Shaw said after the event.
In a battle of surging featherweights, Alexander Volkanovski straight up smashed unbeaten Canadian Jeremy Kennedy, putting him away in the closing seconds of the second round.
UFC 221 - What time does it start? I'm sorry, but, what exactly is a half-interim title fight again? He has been known to gas out in fights and Rockhold is not a guy that you want to fight exhausted. It was an interesting match-up on paper, as Romero would likely look to get Rockhold out of the bout early, having accepted the fight on short notice.