UFC 221 ‘Rockhold vs. Romero’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

By: Sherdog.com Staff
Feb 10, 2018


Sherdog's live UFC 221 coverage kicks off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below.

Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

Round 1

Abe takes the center of the cage and marches forward on Jumeau, sending a left high kick through the Kiwi's gloves. Jumeau swings back, but it's Abe scoring again with a follow-up combination. Abe forces Jumeau backward with a stiff jab, then throws another left high kick which narrowly misses the leaning Jumeau. Suddenly, a left hook from Jumeau sends Abe stumbling backward to the fence. Jumeau rushes forward but can't capitalize before Abe recovers. Jumeau catches a body kick from Abe, but the Japanese fighter makes him pay with a right hand as he balances on one leg. Abe slips a punch and catches Jumeau leaning forward with a counter uppercut. Backing up Jumeau to the wall, Abe attacks with a barrage of big right hands, a few of which land clean on the chin. Jumeau somehow keeps his footing and survives the assault. When Jumeau presses forward to strike, however, Abe counters with another clean right hand, and this one puts "The Jedi" on the floor. Abe tries to pound out the fetal Jumeau as referee Mark Simpson looks on from inches away. Jumeau rolls to his knees and then somehow back to his feet, even as Abe pounds away. Jumeau is bleeding from his mouth now, his left eye swelling shut, eating more punches from Abe as the final minute of the round ticks away. Abe takes his foot off the gas in the closing moments, and Jumeau will make it to round two.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Abe
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Abe
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Abe

Round 2

Jumeau comes out swinging and tags Abe with a pair of left hands early, then bodylocks and trips him to the ground. Abe posts and stands immediately, but back on the feet, it's Jumeau taking the center of the cage. Jumeau digs into the body of Abe, eats a counter right as he leans inside. Jumeau catches a low kick from Abe and pops up to slug him with a good right hand. Again, Jumeau goes to the body with a left but can't connect with the follow-up right. Halfway through the round, Jumeau throws the combo again and this time lands both punches. Abe is starting to look tired, circling with his mouth wide open as his offensive output drops off. Abe switches to southpaw, back to orthodox to thow an inside leg kick. Jumeau tries a few charges into the pocket, both of which are snuffed out by Abe counters. A stiff jab lands for Abe, now a left hook, an uppercut. The Japanese fighter is coming on strong late in the round, but will it be enough to sway the judges?

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Jumeau
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Jumeau
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Jumeau

Round 3

Abe opens the round with a body kick that knocks Jumeau sideways, but it's the Kiwi landing a nice left hook counter in the next exchange. Jumeau scores with a leg kick, steps inside with a lead left hand. Abe is trying to counter, but Jumeau is getting in and out quickly with his single strikes. Jumeau goes upstairs with a right high kick that leaves Abe blinking. Both men are looking tired, holding their hands low, but it's Abe who comes up with a hard right hand in an exchange. Now it's Jumeau who comes away, asking referee Simpson for a timeout. The ref grants the break and calls the cageside physician, who clears Jumeau to continue. Replays are inconclusive on whether Jumeau took a finger or just a punch to the left eye. The fight resumes with half the round remaining, and Jumeau pressing out from the center to hit Abe with a pair of low kicks. Abe dodges a right high kick as he works from the southpaw stance again. Jumeau lands a body kick, eats a grazing counter right hand. Abe switches back to orthodox and has the legs chopped out from under him with a pair of kicks. Inside the final minute now, Jumeau continues to be the busier fighter down the stretch. Abe is felled with another leg kick in the closing seconds, but Jumeau is unable to pound him out before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Jumeau (29-28 Jumeau)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Jumeau (29-28 Jumeau)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Jumeau (29-28 Jumeau)

The Official Result

Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 28-27) R3 5:00

Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez

Round 1

Quinonez circles the outside and catches Ishihara with a hard leg kick as "Yashabo" presses out from the center. Quinonez completes a quick takedown but can't keep Ishihara on the floor, and instead winds up pressing him against the fence with underhooks. Ishihara tries an overhook escape, so Quinonez switches to a Thai clinch and lands a pair of knees to the body. Ishihara fires a few knees in return before being dragged back to the floor, now two minutes into the round. Quinonez tries to take the back but only secures one hook and can't secure his rear-naked choke attempt. "Teco" loses the choke but locks himself onto Ishihara's back with a body triangle. Ishihara stands up and peels away Quinonez's feet, knocking the Mexican fighter off his back. Referee Marc Goddard pauses the fight to reposition Quinonez's cup, which has come loose. They restart with just over a minute left, and Ishihara trips Quinonez to the ground near the fence. Quinonez drives forward on a double-leg attempt, fends off Ishihara's brief guillotine try and stands up. Ishihara gets the final word in the closing seconds of the round, first with a left hook behind the ear and then a jump knee that knocks Quinonez to the ground.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Quinonez
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Quinonez
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Quinonez

Round 2

Ishihara comes out with renewed aggression in round two, touching Quinonez with a pair of head kicks in the opening minute. Quinonez lands a few low kicks but little else happens in the sparse second minute of the frame. Ishihara changes levels and drives forward on a double-leg, dragging Quinonez to the ground at the base of the fence. Quinonez posts and stands almost immediately, and the bantamweights are back to striking in the center of the cage. Both lefties are back to working from the southpaw stance, with Quinonez briefly going orthodox to land a counter right over the top. Ishihara starts to get busier with some leg kicks in the final 90 seconds, while Quinonez has frozen up a bit waiting to counter. Quinonez steps inside to throw a right hand and gets dropped with Ishihara's counter left just before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Ishihara
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Ishihara
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ishihara

Round 3

The bantamweights trade low kicks as the final round begins, with Ishihara appearing to have a little more zip behind his strikes. Ishihara presses forward while Quinonez circles off his back foot, waiting to counter and landing further leg kicks. Ishihara is getting a bit wild as he swings and misses with a few big right hands. Three minutes remain as Quinonez scores with another low kick, takes a pair in return from "Yashabo." Ishihara sticks a jab, takes a kick to the body and fires back with another leg kick, the primary weapon for both men here in the last stanza. Quinonez blocks a takedown attempt and continues to work the lead leg of his opponent. Now it's Ishihara freezing up, being kept on the defensive as Quinonez chops him down from the outside. Quinonez slips a punch, tries to clinch but can't get hold of Ishihara as time runs out.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Quinonez (29-28 Quinonez)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Quinonez (29-28 Quinonez)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Quinonez (29-28 Quinonez)

The Official Result

Jose Alberto Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) R3 5:00

Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota

Round 1

After a slow opening minute with little aside from low kicks, Pearson begins to find a home for his punches, first with a left hook and then a jab. The lightweights trade jabs and more low kicks in the second minute. A leaning Pearson takes a glancing left hook on the ear, has to scramble away and reset. Hirota is landing some hard leg kicks now, but Pearson makes him pay with a well-times counter over the top. Hirota sticks a jab, catches Pearson in the Thai clinch but misses with his knee up the middle. Hirota ducks under a punch and shoots, wrestling Pearson to his knees but never securing the takedown. "Pugnus" continues to make Pearson miss with punches and stick jabs in the final minute.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Pearson
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Pearson
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-10

Round 2

Pearson knocks Hirota backward with a hard left hand, while Hirota gets back to work with his inside leg kicks. Pearson times a left hand perfectly and snaps back Hirota's head in countering a leg kick. Hirota's face is getting increasingly red as Pearson sticks punches on his bloodied nose. Pearson's left hand is landing with regularity now, and it looks as though a few small cuts have opened on Hirota's cheek and nose. Hirota is eating the punches well but doesn't seem to have a good response, as he continues to land single low kicks from the outside. Inside the final minute, Pearson lands yet another left hook, but this one seems to wake up Hirota, who swings back with a three-piece combination. Hirota forces Pearson backward with a left hook, then takes his legs out with a right hand, but Pearson springs right back up and looks to have recovered by round's end.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Hirota
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Hirota
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Hirota

Round 3

Pearson presses forward as the final round begins, but it's Hirota landing the better strikes with chopping leg kicks from his back foot. Pearson leans inside and gets plunked with a left-handed counter as Hirota slips his punch. Hirota sticks a jab, eats a shovel left in return. Pearson sticks a long left hand, takes another kick to the lead leg as the lightweights hit the halfway point of round three. Pearson ducks low and catches the incoming Hirota with a counter uppercut, then scores with a nice right hook to the ribs. Both lightweights connect with right hands as they stand in the pocket, now inside 90 seconds remaining. Hirota's face is a bloody mess as Pearson's counterpunches continue to smear the plasma around. Hirota comes over the top with a long right hand, follows with a left hook. The sleepy Perth crowd comes alive in the final 30 seconds, and both men finish the fight swinging.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Pearson (29-28 Pearson)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Pearson (29-28 Pearson)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Pearson (29-29 Draw)

The Official Result

Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) R3 5:00

Jussier da Silva vs. Ben Nguyen

Round 1

The flyweights tie up immediately, and Nguyen takes control of the situation by jamming "Formiga" against the fence with an underhook. Nguyen lands a few light knees to the body before da Silva is able to break out of the clinch. They wind up back on the fence, again with Nguyen on the outside, landing knees to the gut. Da Silva separates with a right hand, hops out to the center and has to block a left high kick before tying up with Nguyen again. The fighters separate with half the round remaining, and Nguyen eats his first hard punch of the fight when da Silva lands a clean counter right. Formiga latches on to a low kick and trips Nguyen to the ground in the center of the cage. Now it's da Silva in side control with two minutes on the clock, chest-to-chest as he leans right to left across Nguyen's body. Formiga lands a short left hand and steps over to full mount, hooking his legs underneath Nguyen's to maintain the position. Nguyen is getting smothered here, unable to do anything as da Silva smothers him with pressure from mount, possibly looking for an arm-triangle choke in the final moments.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 da Silva
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 da Silva
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 da Silva

Round 2

Da Silva lands a left to the body of Nguyen, but it's the American landing harder a few seconds later with a slashing elbow. "Formiga" comes away from the clash with a stream of blood leaking down the center of his face, seemingly from a cut on his hairline. Nguyen denies a takedown attempt from da Silva, who spins around and gives "Ben 10" a kick to the body. Nguyen sprawls on da Silva's next shot, separating as they hit the halfway point of the round. Formiga waits for a low kick, snatches it up and runs Nguyen to the ground again. This time, the Brazilian "Ant" lands in full guard, but he quickly moves to half guard, where he starts framing up an arm-triangle choke. Nguyen feels the choke tightening and looks to his corner; whatever advice they give seems to help, as he elevates Formiga, escapes the choke and scrambles to his feet. Formiga catches another kick, this time comes over the top with a right hand counter. Nguyen scores with a right hand down the middle, then gets a finger to the right eye in the final exchange of the round. Referee Peter Hickmott pauses the action just before the horn, and the doctor says Nguyen is fit to continue.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Nguyen
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Nguyen
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 da Silva

Round 3

Neither flyweight comes out with much aggression as the final frame begins; Nguyen is throwing more strikes than "Formiga," if not connecting with many. A right hand from the Brazilian stings Nguyen, who recovers quickly and continues to inch forward. Nguyen goes upstairs with a right high kick, but da Silva is already spinning around with a perfectly timed spinning backfist. The shot lands clean, Nguyen hits the ground, and Formiga is on his opponent's back in an instant. Just as quickly, Formiga secures a body triangle, applies a deep rear-naked choke and rolls Nguyen onto his side. Referee Hickmott has to call a halt to the bout, as Nguyen goes to sleep before he can tap.

The Official Result

Jussier da Silva def. Ben Nguyen via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R3 1:43

Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Round 1

Kennedy waits 30 seconds before ducking forward and latching onto a single-leg, pushing the wrestler Volkanovski backward to the fence. Volkanovski defends the shot and reverses to the outside, where he controls Kennedy with double underhooks before tripping the Canadian to the floor. Kennedy drives a few elbows into the side of Volkanovski's head as he holds the Aussie in closed guard. Volkanovski postures up and stacks Kennedy against the base of the fence to pass to half guard. Volkanovski is able to land some hard, grinding elbows and even bigger left hands from this position. Kennedy is in a bad spot with half the round remaining as he continues to eat lefts from "Alexander the Great." The partisan crowd goes "ooh" and "aah" as Volkanovski thumps the visiting fighter with punches. Kennedy shifts to reclaim full guard, but Volkanovski just sits up and starts unloading with both hands. Kennedy is trapped up against the fence as Volkanovski blasts him with elbows and lefts, and referee Marc Goddard is looking on from nearby. Kennedy gets a half butterfly guard and hooks Volkanovski's back leg as he works back to his feet. Volkanovski lands a knee to the gut and pins Kennedy to the fence as the final 10 seconds expire.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Volkanovski
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-8 Volkanovski
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Volkanovski

Round 2

Kennedy is pressing forward at the start of the second stanza, popping Volkanovski with an early jab. As soon as he's backed up to the fence, Volkanovski reverses directions and changes levels to plant Kennedy on the floor with another takedown. Once again shoving the Canadian into the base of the wall, Volkanovski isn't able to mount his ground-and-pound as easily this time. In fact, Kennedy is able to post and stand within 30 seconds, and the featherweights get back to striking with three minutes to go. Kennedy shoots and puts Volkanovski on the fence with a single; Volkanovski uses a whizzer to drive Kennedy back to the floor, and they're back in the familiar position with "Alexander the Great" raining down punches from above. Kennedy locks down Volkanovski's left hand, so the Aussie starts thumping Kennedy's ribs with heavy rights. Kennedy is shifting underneath, trying to throw up a triangle, but Volkanovski is giving him zero room to operate. Volkanovski goes back to the head strikes with left hands, now elbows as Kennedy covers up. The storm subsides, but Volkanovski revs up again with 30 seconds on the clock. Referee Goddard tells Kennedy to fight back, and the Canadian does, kicking Volkanovski away to get some breathing room. Volkanovski isn't done, though, and the next wave of punches are more than Kennedy can stand. Referee Goddard calls a halt to the bout, as Alexander Volkanovski wins his 14th straight bout and hands Jeremy Kennedy the first defeat of his career.

The Official Result

Alexander Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (Punches) R2 4:57

Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya

Round 1

Wilkinson presses outward from the center of the cage, jabbing Adesanya backward until the kickboxer switches stances. Wilkinson changes levels and runs into a knee, but he catches hold of the leg and pushes the UFC newcomer against the fence. "Razor Rob" keeps Adesanya pressed to the fence with an underhook, even tossing him to the ground at one point in the second minute. Adesanya quickly gets back on his feet, still held against the fence, and now Wilkinson trips him back down midway through the round. Adesanya stands again, now finally creates some separation from Wilkinson, who has already tastes a few hard punches from "The Last Stylebender." Adesanya takes the center now, chopping at Wilkinson with low kicks, now connecting with a lead left hand. Wilkinson drives Adesanya to the ground with a fast double-leg, but Adesanya rolls through and springs back to his feet right away. Wilkinson goes back to the clinch, hits another trip but can't keep Adesanya on the mat.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Wilkinson
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Wilkinson
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Adesanya

Round 2

Adesanya starts to find his range at the beginning to round two, plunging some hard left hands into Wilkinson's face. Wilkinson is suddenly looking desperate on his takedown attempts, diving at the legs of Adesanya as the Nigerian slides out of the way. A head kick stings Wilkinson, who shoots for a desperation takedown, can't get it but manages to hustle Adesanya against the wall again. Wilkinson drops to try an ankle pick, and Adesanya just limp-legs away. Adesanya comes back with his right hand raised high, distracting Wilkinson from his lead uppercut. Adesanya looks to be toying with the bloody-nosed Wilkinson a bit now, picking at him with low kicks, now smashing him with hooks and knees. Wilkinson looks exhausted as he leans against the fence, and Adesanya is ready to put an end to the fight with a steady stream of knees and punches to the cowering Aussie. Referee Steve Perceval gives Wilkinson ample opportunity to fight back, but when Wilkinson takes a seat against the wall, the ref has seen enough.

The Official Result

Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (Knees and Punches) R2 3:37

Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim

Round 1

Kim opens with a kick to the body, blocked by Brown, then lands one to the Australian's lead leg. The "Maestro" continues to tune up Brown's left leg as they feint and fake around the cage. Brown finally charges into the pocket but can't find the rangy Kim with his reaching punches. Suddenly, Brown throws a kick that chops the left leg out from underneath Kim. The Korean springs back to his feet and smiles at Brown after the surprising knockdown. Kim steps inside to stick a jab but leaves his face out front for Brown's counter right. Kim is really winding up on his leg kicks now, thudding them into the thigh and calf of "Beatdown" Brown. A straight right hand splits the mitts of Brown, who comes away sporting a cut on his brow.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Kim
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Kim
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Kim

Round 2

Brown goes southpaw at the start of the round, perhaps trying to protect his damaged lead leg. When Kim flips to be a lefty, too, Brown switches back. Kim keeps the kicks coming, even as he works off his back foot with Brown trying to corner him against the cage. Brown eats a heavy right hand, throws a counter combination but winds up eating an elbow as Kim steps through the pocket. Brown is feeding Kim some kicks in return, but Kim's are clearly the harder shots, and Brown's leg is looking worse for them. The long-limbed Kim is doing well to stick jabs and angle away, leaving Brown frozen in the center of the cage. Brown is coming forward but not doing much, landing only a single leg kick in over a minute down the stretch. Kim eats a right hand, gives Brown a harder punch in return. Brown scores another leg-kick knockdown in the final 10 seconds, but he returns to his corner with a bruised left eye and a cut on the bridge of his nose.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Kim
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Kim
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Kim

Round 3

The lightweights hug at the start of round three, then get straight back to striking. Kim works from southpaw stance and flashes a quick jab down the middle, splitting the guard of the orthodox Brown. A few more leg kicks connect to the lead stem of Brown, who tries to go upstairs with a right high kick but can't reach the taller man. Kim continues to land low kicks and jabs, then moves out of the pocket and leaves Brown bouncing punches off the Korean fighter's arms. Even when Brown does connect with a decent left, Kim zaps him back with an even harder counter right. Brown puts a kick on Kim's body, follows up with a straight right as they hit the halfway point of the round. Kim snaps Brown's head back with another stiff jab, and now Brown goes southpaw momentarily. Kim is sniping with his counters, absorbing low kicks from Brown in order to land punches up top. Brown keeps pressing forward but isn't doing much; he spins Kim around with a leg kick as they hit the 45-second mark. Another low kick gets Kim off balance, but again Brown fails to follow up. Kim connects with his best punch of the round, a straight right that rocks Brown's head.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Kim (30-27 Kim)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Brown (29-28 Kim)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Kim (30-27 Kim)

The Official Result

Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) R3 5:00

Tyson Pedro vs. Saparbek Safarov

Round 1

Safarov circles to his left around the outside and strikes first with an inside leg kick. Pedro answers with one of his own, then tries to sprawl on a shot, but Safarov's second effort yields an early takedown. Safarov wraps up Pedro's legs as he tries to control the Australian at the base of the fence. Pedro posts and stands, then separates from Safarov and moves back to the center. Safarov catches a front kick but can't convert it into a takedown. Out of nowhere, Pedro explodes forward with a heavy right hand that puts Safarov on his back foot. Pedro stuffs a shot, lands the right hand again and then narrowly misses with a head kick. Pedro chops at Safarov's lead leg as the Russian tries to reset, having apparently recovered from the right hand. Safarov leans forward, grabbing for Pedro's legs, and takes a right hand on the temple that wobbles his legs. Pedro tacks on a clinch knee but Safarov stays standing and shoots for another takedown at the fence. Safarov scores the takedown but can't keep Pedro on the floor as the 205ers stand up at the fence. Pedro uses a standing kimura to drag Safarov to the canvas. Safarov is in deep trouble immediately, his left arm wrenched behind his back. When Pedro steps over Safarov's head, the Russian chooses to tap out rather than let the Aussie break his arm.

The Official Result

Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via Submission (Kimura) R1 3:54

Jake Matthews vs. Jingliang Li

Round 1

After a tense opening minute, Matthews commits to a left hand and gets plunked with Li's counter left as he steps inside. Matthews comes back with a left hand over the top that connects, but now Li pressures the Aussie backward to the fence. Matthews comes over the top again with a right; Li eats it and swings back with a straight right of his own. Matthews is doing some good sticking and moving toward the middle of the round, leaving Li swinging at air with his counters. The welterweights clash heads as Matthews ducks low in an exchange, but neither seems worse for wear. Matthews stays in the pocket and swings at Li, knocking the "Leech" to the floor with two minutes on the clock. Matthews pounces, stepping over to full mount and unloading with punches and elbows, looking for the finish. Li rolls over, and Matthews takes his back in a hurry, securing the position with two hooks. Li is defending well, keeping Matthews' hands locked down and his arms from slipping under his chin. Matthews complains that Li is holding his glove, but referee Mark Simpson allows them to fight on. Thirty seconds left now, and it's looking like Li will survive the dangerous position to see round two. Matthews makes him pay at the end of the round with a few last-second right hands to the face.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Matthews
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-8 Matthews
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Matthews

Round 2

Matthews steps into an uppercut from Li, but lands a left hand of his own simultaneously. The Aussie catches Li in a guillotine and jumps guard, and this one looks tight. Li fights his way out of the submission, seemingly with the assistance of an eye-rake that goes unpunished by referee Simpson. The welterweights scramble back to their feet, and suddenly Li is marching on Matthews with renewed aggression, tagging the "Celtic Kid" with combinations at the wall. Matthews comes off the fence but soon finds himself backed up again, as Li pressures with combinations and low kicks. Ninety seconds left in what has been a wild second round, and Matthews scores his first hard strike in a while, a thudding punch to Li's chest. Both men land heavy right hands in the final minute; Matthews drops his hands after eating Li's strike and invites the China Top Team fighter to throw some more.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Li
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Li
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Li

Round 3

Li looks to be the aggressor at the start of the final round, crouching low and hopping forward on Matthews as they feint near the fence. Matthews opts for another method, changing levels and plowing Li to the ground with a quick double-leg takedown. Li posts and stands straight away, separating from Matthews with nearly four minutes left to fight. Matthews whiffs on a right hand but stuffs Li's takedown attempt right behind it. Matthews comes over the top with a left, to the body with a right, then back upstairs with a right hand that jacks Li's jaw and sends him to the canvas. Li recovers almost immediately and hits a sweep to top position, putting him in Matthews' guard at the base of the fence with just over two minutes on the clock. Li stands over the prone Matthews and then crashes back to the mat with a left hand. Matthews uses the opening to sit up and drive forward, then turns Li against the fence with a double-leg attempt. Li widens his base against the fence and fights off the takedown, and now the 170-pounders meet back in the middle with 60 seconds remaining. Matthews leaps into range with a left hand and follows up with a clubbing overhand right. The Aussie jumps at Li with a flying knee that lands clean, then punctuates the round with a takedown.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Matthews (29-27 Matthews)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Matthews (29-27 Matthews)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Matthews (29-27 Matthews)

The Official Result

Jake Matthews def. Jingliang Li via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28) R3 5:00

Tai Tuivasa vs. Cyril Asker

Round 1

Asker drops low and puts a right hand in Tuivasa's breadbasket, but the Frenchman is caught with a Tuivasa uppercut before he can get upright again. Tuivasa pressures from the center, backing up Asker to the fence. "Bam Bam" connects with a right hand as he steps inside and shoves Asker against the cage. Asker eats a heavy right hand that puts him on rollerskates, and now Tuivasa smells blood. Tuivasa tees off with uppercuts, hooks, standing elbows, throwing the kitchen sink at Asker, who is somehow still standing. Asker looks finished, propping himself up against the cage as Tuivasa rattles his brain with a barrage of strikes. Another standing elbow slices open Asker above the left brow. Tuivasa's next combination and a follow-up shove sends the "Silverback" crashing to the canvas, and finally referee Steve Perceval has seen enough.

The Official Result

Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (Punches and Elbows) R1 2:18

Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes

Round 1

Blaydes comes out slinging long right hands, but Hunt uses a shoulder roll to guard himself from the taller man's punches. A sneaky right hand from Blaydes finds its way inside, and the American leaves Hunt swinging at air with his counters. When Hunt tries to step forward and throw, Blaydes explodes with a combination, quickly forcing the "Super Samoan" to back out of the pocket. Blaydes shoots and completes an easy takedown, but Hunt posts and stands within 10 seconds, putting the big men back on their feet with half the round remaining. A right hand to the temple puts Blaydes on rubber legs, staggering backward. Hunt stalks his prey, uncorks another big right hand but can't put Blaydes on the ground. Hunt winds up with another homerun shot -- but this one is telegraphed, and Blaydes ducks underneath to plow Hunt to the ground near the fence. Hunt gets up, a little slower this time, only to be tossed back down by the now-bloody Blaydes. The American stays heavy in Hunt's half guard, landing right hands as he keeps the K-1 veteran glued to the ground. Referee John Sharp calls for action, and Blaydes passes to full mount. Hunt gives up his back with 10 seconds on the clock; it's not enough time for Blaydes to secure a choke.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Hunt
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Hunt
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Hunt

Round 2

Hunt denies the first takedown attempt from Blaydes, but "Razor" keeps coming and jams Hunt against the fence within half a minute. Hunt creates some space, circles back to the center and sizes up Blaydes, who's inching forward with his hands cocked. Hunt's hands are relatively low, his stance crouched as he anticipates another shot from the former JuCo wrestler. Halfway through the round, Hunt stuffs a double-leg, eats a jab from Blaydes and then gets taken down in the center of the cage. Blaydes lands in half guard on Hunt's right side, staying heavy on top and laying a forearm across Hunt's throat. Blaydes uses his right arm to elbow Hunt's ribs, his left to staple the Samoan's head to the floor with short elbows. Blaydes sits up to get a little more power on his elbows, one of which slices open Hunt's forehead. Blaydes looks to be framing up an arm-triangle choke, now releases it to slam Hunt's jaw with a loud elbow strike.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Blaydes
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Blaydes
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Blaydes

Round 3

Blaydes shoots immediately and puts Hunt on the ground at the base of the wall. Hunt stands up and is instantly dumped back on the canvas, then mounted by Blaydes. It's a bad position for Hunt with more than four minutes left in the final frame. Blaydes slams Hunt's face with elbow strikes, then goes to work on an Americana. The sub attempt quickly dissipates in favor of more elbows and punches, and now Blaydes goes back to half guard. Hunt is trying desperately to post and get back to his feet, but Blaydes is heavy and keeps the "Super Samoan" on his knees, leaning against the fence. Hunt finally gets up with 2:20 on the clock, much to the delight of the Perth crowd. Blaydes quiets the fans down with another slam, then a trip takedown when Hunt stands again. Blaydes looks to be cruising to a decision win as the final 90 seconds tick away, but suddenly Hunt powers back to his feet and creates some separation. Blaydes waits all of 10 seconds before shooting and completing yet another takedown at the fence, and that may just about do it. Hunt clambers back to his feet once more in the final 20 seconds and is ragdolled back to the floor, then mounted by Blaydes just before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Blaydes (29-27 Blaydes)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-8 Blaydes (29-27 Blaydes)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Blaydes (29-27 Blaydes)

The Official Result

Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) R3 5:00

Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero

Round 1

English referee Marc Goddard is the third man in the cage for tonight's five-round main event, with judges Mark Collett, Charlie Keech and Barry Foley scoring the contest. Due to Yoel Romero missing weight, only Luke Rockhold is eligible to win the vacant UFC interim middleweight title. The southpaws square up in the center of the cage, where Rockhold strikes first with an inside leg kick, then a front kick to the body. Romero takes a left hand off his arms, then checks the next kick from Rockhold, bloodying the shin of the former champion. Romero winds up and whiffs on a big overhand left, now takes a chop to the thigh as Rockhold continues his kick-based attack. Romero misses with another haymaker before the middleweights exchange low kicks. With 90 seconds on the clock, Romero finally finds a home for his overhand right, backing up Rockhold to the fence. The 185ers come back to the center, where Rockhold gets Romero to bite hard on a feint, then goes low with a kick to the Cuban's right knee. Rockhold finishes the round with a stiff jab and takes a leg kick in return.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Rockhold
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Rockhold
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Rockhold

Round 2

Romero opens the round with a right hand that stuns Rockhold, who's forced to back up to the fence as the "Soldier of God" marches on him. Rockhold covers his head, so Romero pounds away with both hands, punching the American's body. Rockhold looks to have recovered after a few seconds on the defensive, now circles back to the center of the cage. A left high kick slaps the face of Romero, who creeps forward on Rockhold, trying to close the distance on the taller man. Romero works from the orthodox stance now, eats a straight left hand and flips back to southpaw. Rockhold is coming on in the latter half of the round, mixing up his punches to the body and head while continuing to low-kick. Rockhold flashes a jab, comes over the top with a left, then steps inside with a sneaky right hook. Romero isn't doing much down the stretch, and now Rockhold rocks his head with a snappy double jab.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Romero
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Romero
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Rockhold

Round 3

Rockhold works from behind his jab early in round three, mixing in a few leg kicks when Romero tries to come inside. Romero is stuck on the end of Rockhold's long right hand, eating jab after jab but still marching forward. The Cuban does connect with a few good punches to the body as he backs up Rockhold toward the fence. Just before they hit the cage, Romero winds up with a big left hand that skims off Rockhold's temple and sends him slumping to the ground. Romero only needs one follow-up left hand to knock Rockhold out cold and send referee Marc Goddard into action. Yoel Romero leaps atop the cage to celebrate his knockout victory while a dazed Rockhold looks on in confusion from his seat on the ground.

The Official Result

Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (Punches) R3 1:48

Fighter Profiles

Related MMA News

Comments

Comments powered by Disqus
Write For Us

GRRRR!!!More on Sherdog.com Mobile