Yoel Romero, 185-pound (187.7-pound*) UFC contender and human wrecking machine, defeated Luke Rockhold last night at UFC 221 with an absurd left hook that sent Luke flying into the cage. Luke sat up, and Romero landed one more nasty blow before the ref jumped in.
Rockhold is known for brutal kicks, but he typically works them to the body and then to the head against orthodox fighters. Since Romero also fights out of the southpaw stance, Luke was forced to throw kicks at Romero's front leg. Two of those kicks combined to injure Romero's lead leg, although the extent of it isn't known. Romero was in the hosopital following the fight, so it's safe to assume a bone bruise or fracture.
The middleweight division is now a bit of a mess. It's easily the UFC's most loaded division--Whittaker, Romero, Rockhold, Souza, and Weidman are all elite talents--but the majority are nursing injuries or reeling from recent losses. Regardless, there are a lot of intriguing matchups for the promotion to pursue, and I'm looking forward to it.
Do you see anyone taking control of the 185-pound ranks in 2018?
*Romero missed weight for this fight. Despite knocking Luke to a different dimension, he didn't win the belt and gave up 30% of his earnings to a person he just knocked senseless.