Robert Whittaker vanquishes Yoel Romero to claim UFC interim middleweight entitle

Australian Whittaker realise up for slow start and hyperextended knee to triumph final three contests against Romero

Australias Robert Whittaker won the UFC interim middleweight title on Saturday night in Las Vegas, surging in the late rounds to deserve a unanimous decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 213.

Whittaker( 20 -4) recovered from a hyperextended knee in the first round with a strong astonishing conduct, peppering Cuban Romero( 12 -2) with punches and kicks over the final three rounds. He triumphed his eighth consecutive crusade, earning the win 48 -4 7 on all three judges scorecards.

Its a moment Ive always dreamed of, Whittaker alleged. My knee was obviously throbbed. I injured it in clique, and Romeros knock determined it back weeks. I know that Romero will capitalise on any weakness he assures, so I had to play it off. Thats just what champions are made of.

The main event of the UFCs traditional July showcase in its hometown was offset earlier in the working day when bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes was taken to hospital. She was scratched from her second designation explanation against Valentina Shevchenko, who criticised the champions preparation for the bout.

Alistair Overeem likewise beat Fabricio Werdum by narrow majority decision in the third career meet of two ex-serviceman heavyweights, and former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis also returned to the schism with a unanimous decision victory over Jim Miller.

Whittaker took advantage of his contests promotion to the main event by claiming the region in front of a pay-per-view audience. He earned the chance to fight for the full 185 -pound title held for the past year by Michael Bisping, who is injured. Bisping stepped into the cage subsequently and congratulated Whittaker in his own grouchy style.

The fact that youre standing there with a belt on prepares me sick, the Englishman read, throwing his own region on the canvas. Take that loop. Fight for it.

Romeros Olympic-level wrestling knowledge preserved Whittaker on the defensive for much of the first two rounds. Whittaker increased his stunning output while Romero sat back in the third largest and fourth. Whittaker also defended Romeros takedowns more adroitly.

Romero was cut on his left eyebrow while Whittaker had a bloody nose and mouth in the last round, which seemed even until Romero slipped onto his back with 90 seconds left after the failure to land a strike. Whittaker rushed on top to rain down blows to the final horn.

All three judges interpreted the fight identically, scoring the first two rounds for Romero and the final three for Whittaker.

The 40 -year-old Romero was loving after his eight-fight acquiring fleck discontinued, praising his opponent.

Whittaker will get the chance to remove the interim name from his belt when Bisping returns from injury, even though it is might not happen this year. The middleweight fraction is currently in limbo since Bisping shockingly pulsated endorse Luke Rockhold last-place summer and then campaigned old-time rival Dan Henderson instead of Romero, Whittaker or another top contender.

Shevchenko proved up after being denied her long-awaited deed shooting when Nunes descended ill in the hours before their rematch.

Shevchenko was ferocious with Nunes, claiming the champs drastic weight cut was responsible for her illness. She likewise repetition UFC president Dana Whites statement that Nunes was medically cleared to fight, but declined to go from the hospital to the cage.

You cant just say, I dont want to fight, Shevchenko mentioned. I couldnt guess at the very last moment that this would happen to me. Of trend I am disturbed I understand what she missed. She wanted to cut[ weight] in a very short time. You cannot do this. Our torsoes necessity more time to recover.

Shevchenko was responded with loud merriments when she was shown on the arenas video cards before the main event.

Overeem( 43 -1 5) and Werdum( 21 -7- 1) finished a trilogy of opposes between two of the most attained mixed martial artists of their generation. Werdum won their first convene in the Pride promotion in 2006, and Overeem won their Strikeforce heavyweight rematch in 2011.

Overeem was slightly better during the course of its first two rounds, and he survived the third after Werdum floored him with a knee to the head.

Pettis( 20 -6) returned to anatomy in his return to 155 pounds, dominating the veteran Miller with elegance and army. Pettis lost his title belt in March 2015 to start a 1-4 skid that included a two-fight stint at featherweight, but he ogled sharp while carving up Miller( 28 -1 0 ), who hemorrhaged copiously.

Before the pay-per-view component of the card, heavyweight Travis Browne took his fourth consecutive loss in a second-round submission to 40 -year-old Russian grappler Aleksei Oleinik.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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