Yoel Romero earned a third round knockout to finish Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 and it turns out he may have been competing for the majority of the fight on one leg.
After hobbling out of the Octagon on Saturday night where he had to be helped to the back by his manager and coaches, Romero revealed in a post fight interview that he believes he suffered a broken leg during one of the initial exchanges in the fight with Rockhold.
“Yes in the first round I think I took two kicks and I’m pretty sure that I broke my leg,” Romero revealed.
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Romero checked a few leg kicks from Rockhold early and it appears that’s where the injury happened. Despite a possible fracture in his leg, Romero still managed to earn a thunderous third round knockout to secure the next shot at middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
A broken leg wasn’t all Romero dealt with in the lead up to the fight, however, as he also failed to make weight on Friday, which is why he isn’t leaving Australia as the new UFC interim middleweight champion.
Romero apologized for the error but also explained that he took the fight with Rockhold on short notice after originally being scheduled to compete two weeks later at the UFC on FOX card in Orlando.
“I’m not necessarily sure what went wrong. We worked the same as we do for every [fight],” Romero said about his weight cut.
“After they gave me the one hour [to make weight], I came in only two pounds overweight but do you seriously think that if I had been fighting in Orlando that I would have had this issue? I happened to work really fast to get all this done for this fight, it messed up a little bit my plans for the weight cut.”
Following the close of the event, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Romero would still get the next shot at the title, although there’s no word on how long he might be out of action dealing with his leg injury.