After missing weight, Romero was ineligible to take home the interim middleweight belt, but it seems unlikely he'll care.
Romero has received criticism for his cardio - fading in the later rounds against Robert Whittaker past year - but he remained powerful and explosive enough to land a brutal knockout blow with 1min 28 seconds left in the round. However, UFC President Dana White has indeed alluded to possibly booking Romero in a fight for the Undisputed title against current titleholder Robert Whittaker.
Watch UFC 221 live stream free: How to watch Rockhold vs Romero live stream free online Fight coverage for the pay-per-view card at 10 p.m. ET.
Yoel Romero scored a vicious knock-out victory against Luke Rockhold to steal the show in the main event to remind fans of his remarkable punching power. No question. It's going to be interesting to see what comes next for Rockhold. The kicks of the first round had been replaced by a jab meaning that Romero was now merely at arm's length rather than further outside on the perimeter of kicking range.
Auto Expo: startups, new entrants take center stage on Day 2
However, considering the vehicle has been showcased again, we can be hopeful that the project is not dead yet. The Tiago EV and the Tigor EV draw power from an electric drive system developed and supplied by Electrica EV.
In addition to Rockhold's definitive defeat, Mark Hunt (13-12-1 MMA, 8-6-1 UFC), Cyril Asker (9-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC), Li Jingliang (14-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and Saparbeg Safarov (8-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) all fell short in their bouts.
Tai Tuivasa on what can happen in the fight: "For me, as long as I'm fit and I feel good and I'm on point, then I'm sweet".
"Rockhold is a very good athlete and an incredible fighter", Romero said after the fight. The former middleweight champion crumpled to the canvas where he froze and Romero pounced to deliver one more sickening shot before the fight was called off by referee Marc Goddard.
Hunt landed a huge shot to drop Blaydes early in the fight, prompting Blaydes to turn to his wrestling. I'm the wrestler, I'm the judoka master champ, and I'm going to drag him to where I want to be.
After Rockhold had gathered some of his scattered bearings, Romero tried to console him, something that made for a hard watch.