Robert Whittaker vanquishes Yoel Romero to claim UFC interim middleweight name

Australian Whittaker realise up for slow start and hyperextended knee to prevail final three bouts against Romero

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

Whittaker( 20 -4) recovered from a hyperextended knee during the first round with a strong astonishing execution, peppering Cuban Romero( 12 -2) with pierces and kicks over the final three rounds. He triumphed his eighth consecutive contend, paying the succes 48 -4 7 on all three judges scorecards.

Its a moment Ive ever “ve been dreaming about”, Whittaker remarked. My knee was definitely hurt. I injured it in camp, and Romeros knock defined it back weeks. I know that Romero will capitalise on any weakness he appreciates, so I had to play it off. Thats just what champs are made of.

The main event of the UFCs traditional July showcase in its hometown was offset earlier in the day when bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes was sent to hospital. She was scratched from her second entitle defense against Valentina Shevchenko, who criticised the champs preparation for the bout.

Alistair Overeem too drummed Fabricio Werdum by restricted majority decision in the third vocation see of two ex-serviceman heavyweights, and former lightweight endorse Anthony Pettis also returned to the fraction with a unanimous decision victory over Jim Miller.

Whittaker took advantage of his contests promotion to the main event by claiming the belt in front of a pay-per-view audience. He deserved 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 afterward and congratulated Whittaker in his own irascible style.

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

Romeros Olympic-level wrestling skills hindered Whittaker on the defensive for much of the first two rounds. Whittaker increased his striking yield while Romero sat back in the third largest and fourth. Whittaker likewise protected Romeros takedowns more adroitly.

Romero was cut on his left eyebrow while Whittaker had a bloody nose and mouth disease in the final round, which appeared even until Romero passed onto his back with 90 seconds away after the failure to property air strikes. Whittaker climbed on top to rain down jolts to the final horn.

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

The 40 -year-old Romero was gracious after his eight-fight prevailing stripe purposed, praising his opponent.

Whittaker will get the chance to remove the interim designation from his belt when Bisping reverts from trauma, even though it is might not happen this year. The middleweight disagreement has been in limbo since Bisping shockingly thumped endorse Luke Rockhold last-place summer and then fought old-time competitive Dan Henderson instead of Romero, Whittaker or another top contender.

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

Shevchenko was frantic with Nunes, claiming the endorses drastic weight section was responsible for her illness. She too repetition UFC president Dana Whites statement that Nunes was medically cleared to fight, but declined to go from research hospitals to the cage.

You cant am saying, I dont want to fight, Shevchenko announced. I couldnt guess at the very last moment that this would happen to me. Of route I am upset I understand what she wanted. She wanted to cut[ heavines] in a very short time. You cannot do this. Our figures involve more time to recover.

Shevchenko was reacted with thunderous heartens when she was shown on the arenas video committees before the main event.

Overeem( 43 -1 5) and Werdum( 21 -7- 1) finished a trilogy of campaigns between two of “the worlds largest” reached mixed martial artists of their generation. Werdum won their first find 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 way in his return to 155 pounds, dominating the veteran Miller with flair and coerce. Pettis lost his title belt in March 2015 to start a 1-4 skid that included a two-fight stint at featherweight, but he seemed sharp-witted while engraving up Miller( 28 -1 0 ), who bled 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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