Chris Weidman's highly anticipated return to the Octagon was spoiled by Yoel Romero, who landed a vicious knee to hand the American a knockout loss in New York City.
With four contenders looking to jump to the front of the queue to challenge Michael Bisping, it looks as if the number one contender spot is reserved for the Cuban.
PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT
Romero needed to make a statement, and he did just that by picking up a performance of the night bonus alongside new lightweight champion, Conor McGregor.
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Weidman took the opening round as he connected with some solid strikes, and landing numerous takedowns, but Romero grew in confidence and landed a devastating knee early in the third round to leave Madison Square Garden the victor, ruining Weidman’s homecoming in the process.
The second round started off in strange fashion, with referee Mario Yamasaki towelling off Romero who had poured over himself in his corner.
But it didn’t make much difference as the Soldier of God used his lightning-fast speed to his advantage and dominated the remainder of the second by tripping up Weidman.
Romero’s corner shouted at him before the third round that he needed to finish the fight, and he wasted no time in listening to their instructions.
Weidman went for another takedown in the hope of dominating on the ground, but as you can see in the video below, he walked straight into the brutal knee to the side of his head, busting him wide open and handing him a second consecutive loss.
Following the bout, Romero and Bisping shared some heated words – with the Englishman watching on from the Fox analyst desk.
Romero said: “I trained very hard. Doesn’t matter what goes on in my life, I go forward. What God has given me.
“I love you, Mike. You see now the real champion. I love you, Mike.”
Bisping has remained vocal about not giving Romero a title shot because of a USADA suspension, but with another incredible performance in the books, it’s only a matter of time before The Count meets him inside of the Octagon.
What did you make of Yoel Romero’s knockout win over Chris Weidman? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.