In his entire professional career, 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling, Cuban-born Yoel Romero has tasted victory five times – all of which coming by way of knockout.
On Wednesday night, at Fight for the Troops 3 in Fort Campbell, Ky., Romero kept his knockout-streak alive, as he dispatched of Brazilian standout Ronny Markes with a brutal left hook salvo that left the servicemen and women in attendance roaring with applause.
Round one saw Romero light on his feet as he looked to pepper Markes with well-timed jabs. Those jabs and tepid approach were all seemingly a part of a much bigger plan. As Romero would bob and weave – almost without interest – every now and again he would land a straight left that would snap his opponent’s head back. Midway through the first stanza, Romero’s left landed so soundly that it seemed like the end was right around the corner.
However, Markes survived and put on a spirited performance for the rest of the opening frame. Round two was more of the same as Markes looked to solve the perplexing puzzle that was Yoel Romero. Just as Romero looked to be bored with the action, he would fire that left cross through the guard of the Brazilian stopping him dead in his tracks.
The end of the second round saw Markes’ most spirited effort, as he shrugged off a takedown from the all-world wrestling standout, and engaged in a wild flurry that had the crowd visibly excited. As the round came to an end, Markes even landed a stiff right hand of his own.
Round three saw Markes attempt to carry over his momentum from the second. The Nova Uniao product pressured the Cuban-born phenom in what he surely hoped would be a fight-changing decision.
Well, it was, but unfortunately not for Markes.
It was Markes’ aggressiveness that lead to the end of the fight. Romero landed a looping left hook that caught the Brazilian off guard and sent him reeling to the canvas. The hulking Cuban loomed over Markes in an attempt to land a few finishing shots, but the referee stepped in, and the fight was waived off.
The end officially came at 1:39 of the third round for your winner via TKO, Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero.
The win for Romero marked his second UFC victory in as many outings. With his stellar wrestling prowess and deadly stand-up arsenal, the 36-year-old late bloomer is quickly becoming a fighter to watch in the UFC’s middleweight division.
For Markes, this loss to Romero marks the end to his undefeated streak in the UFC (previously Markes had won his first three outings for the company) and sends the still-developing 25-year-old back to the drawing board.
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