Fight Blog Recap: Romero knocks Machida out in three

Yoel Romero knocked former world champion Lyoto Machida out in a middleweight title contention UFC Fight Night main event, Saturday night.

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero took a huge step close to earning an MMA world title shot Saturday night in his adopted home of Florida. After two technical rounds filled with stand up striking, Romero got inside and scored a take down in the third round.

From there, he used short elbows to knock Machida out cold. The stoppage came at 1:38 of the third round.

Yoel Romero took his post-fight interview as an opportunity to bash civil rights for gay people, apparently upset at the recent Supreme Court decision allowing for marriage equality for gay and straight alike.

As for MMA, Romero didn’t call for a title shot saying simply, "whoever God puts in my path, is who I’ll fight."

Lyoto Machida (22-6) vs. Yoel Romero (9-1)

Round 1

"Machida" chants are loud, but the "Romero" chants are there as well. Good support for both men, off the bat.

The two Southpaws trade some feints and leg and body kick attempts. Machida lands a good lead leg kick.

He lands another one, this one an inside leg kick. Machida lands another outside lead leg kick. 

He’s finding some real success with that, so far. Machida connects with a left body kick. 

He’s measuring and timing Romero pretty well, so far. Nothing full power has been thrown or landed, though.

They exchange some punches and Machida is wobbled with an overhand! He puts his arms out to get his balance, shakes his head, and the two fist bump.

Machida lands a rear knee to the body, then a straight right to the face. Having landed that earlier knee, Machida now feinting that knee strike again with his hips, then throws the front face kick, like he did to Randy Couture.

This one misses, though. Machida lands a spinning back kick to the body.

Round 2

Machida lunges in as a counter to a leg kick and lands a short hook to the chin of Romero! Machida lands an inside leg kick, and then an outside one. 

Romero responds with an oblique kick to the leg of Machida. Another inside leg kick lands for Machida.

MAchida lands another short right hook, lunging in. Romero stalking but Machida bouncing, side to side, in and out, and being first most exchanges.

Romero attempts a flying knee from the Thai plum. Machida lands a lazer of a straight left punch to the chin, then follows up with a leg kick. 

Romero lands his own hard left punch to the chin! Machida lands a body kick and then another leg kick.

Romero lands a one-two punch combo that snap the head of Machida back, sharply. Romero lands a big overhand left to the chin of Machida  as a counter to a leg kick.

Romero swings with another big overhand left that misses and he stumbles. Nice kick combo from Machida lands at the end of the round.

Romero tries a Showtime punch by pushing off the fence. Machida backtracks and avoids it but Romero tries to clinch and take him down.

Round 3

Romero lands a big right hand to start the second round. Machida lands another leg kick.

Romero gets inside, works a takedown instantly with a knee tap take down! He lands on top inside Machida’s half guard and doesn’t hesitate to unleash short elbow after short elbow to Machida’s head and knocks "The Dragon" out.

Official Decision:

Romero wins by KO (elbows on the ground) at 1:38 of the third round.

Lorenz Larkin (15-4) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (19-2)

Round 1

Lorenz lands a quick left hook to the face of Santiago. Then, a good outside leg kick followed by an inside one.

Santiago responds with a big overhand right. Lorenz uses a good jab and then another outside leg kick. Good push kick to the body from Lorenz connects and forces Santiago backwards.

Nice right body kick from Santiago, and then an outside leg kick. Lorenz lands another outside roundhouse to the lead leg of Santiago.

That one buckled Santiago. Santiago closes the distance and presses Lorenz against the cage.

Another push kick to the body lands for Lorenz. Santiago lands another leg kick and then presses against the cage, looking for a take down. Santiago holds one leg of Lorenz up in between his own legs and punches with his right hand.

Nice single leg takedown fake into a strike, but it misses.

Round 2

Santiago connects with a left hand to the chin. Lorenz connects with a body kick.

Lorenz lands a big left hook after some fakes, then a right hand, and a body kick. Lorenz drops.

Lorenz gets back up and eats a knee and lands a big right hand. Larkin drops Santiago with a huge left hook!

Lorenz in side mount, battering Santiago with punches. Santiago gets to all fours and then his feet, but is doing nothing to stop the punches.

Referee Herb Dean rightly stops the fight after yet another horrible left hook to the head, and ends the damage for the wobbly Santiago.

Official Decision:

Larkin wins by TKO (strikes) at 3:07 in the second round.

Antonio Carlos Junior (4-1) vs. Eddie Gordon (7-3)

Round 1

Carlos trying out his third weight class in as many UFC fights, tonight, against the also slimmed-down Gordon. The Brazilian presses against the cage but Gordon reverses position.

Gordon trips and stumbles on separation from the clinch, Carlos Jr. charges in and scores a take down. The Brazilian works on top from the half guard, and Gordon scoots back to the cage, and uses it to stand up.

Carlos Jr. goes to work with knees to the gut, while he presses Gordon against the cage. Gordon reverses position, again, but Carlos Jr. works him back against the cage.

They exchange positions several more times, against the cage, before Carlos Jr. scores a foot trip. Gordon decides to wrap up the full guard instead of working to the cage and trying to stand up.

Carlos Jr. takes advantage and lands a lot of huge short elbows and punches, from on top inside the guard. Carlos Jr. passes to the half guard, and hammers him with punches and knees to the body.

Great lane-changes from Carlos Jr. from on top, while keeping pressure down with his head and shoulder.

Round 2

Carlos Jr. swinging big, early, with punches. He tries to distract Gordon with the ol’ "hey, look over there," trick. 

Carlos Jr. throwing the jab out there, but he’s letting it fall low to his waist, on the way back to his body. Gordon, now bleeding, lands his own, stiffer, jab. 

Gordon grabs a hold of Carlos Jr. and presses him against the cage. Carlos Jr. separates and they begin to trade feints and jabs in the center of the ring, again.

Carlos Jr. lands some big punches, stuns Gordon, then the Brazilian lands a takedown.  Carlos Junior is doing a great job of using his right hand and arm to keep Gordon’s left side pinned, while pressuring down with his head against the head of the American, and hammering punches down on his face.

The round ends with Carlos Jr. shooting for a heel hook.

Round 3

Hard leg kick from Carlos Jr. Carlos Jr. presses Gordon against the cage and scores another takedown against the fence.

Gordon has his hips pinned but works to his elbow. Because he lingers on his right elbow while turned, instead of getting to his hand, he gets his back taken.

Carlos Jr. working for a rear naked choke with two minutes left in the round. Carlos Jr. locks on a figure four lock from behind.

Carlos Jr. finally gets under the chin with a little over 30 seconds left and forces the tap out.

Official Decision:

Carlos Jr. wins by submission (Rear naked choke) in the third round.

Thiago Santos (10-3) vs. Steve Bosse (10-1)

Round 1

Santos lands a high left kick to the head of Bosse and that is it. Bosse is out cold.

Bosse had his right hand up at his chin, but the little glove wasn’t enough to cover his temple. Santos connects with his shin to the side of the head of the debuting former hockey player and that is all she wrote.

Official Decision:

Santos wins by KO (head kick) at 29 seconds of the first round.

Hacran Dias (22-3) vs. Levan Makashvili (7-1)

Round 1

Dias gets things started with a hard lead leg kick. Levan lands a good right punch, in response.

Dias lands a jab to the head and a jab to the body, in succession. Dias lands a left hook to the head.

Levan changes levels and shoots for a takedown. Dias defends but is pressed against the cage.

Levan throws a left hook-overhand right combination and the right punch lands hard on the head of Dias. Dias now changes levels and works for a takedown.

He gets it and lands in the half guard of Levan, with 30 seconds left. Levan gets his full guard and gets busy attempt to set up submissions but all the attempts are defended.

Round 2

Good inside leg kick from Levan to start the second period. Levan catches a leg kick from Dias and turns it into a takedown.

Levan inside the dangerous half guard of Dias. Dias locks onto a far-side Kimura shoulder lock and begins to turn it into a straight arm bar attempt, and then a back take!

Levan defends and gets Dias off of him, though! Levan standing over Dias, and punches down into the ground.

Dias locks on a triangle choke! Levan lifts Dias up into the air as he stands and slams the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt onto the mat.

Dias shoots an arm bar attempt up at Leva, but it is defended. The two stand back up with two minutes left.

Dias manages to trip Levan to the ground and press him against the cage. Levan stands up and presses Dias against the cage.

Levan lifts up Dias’ leg up into the air and attempts to turn a corner to score a take down but Dias defends beautifully with his hips, and keeps his footing.

Dias changes levels and shoots for a take down and lands it with just over 30 seconds left! From the bottom, Levan throws a couple elbows and a few punches.

Round 3

Levan opens the round with an inside leg kick that goes into the groin of his opponent. Like, right into the no-no area. 


They restart pretty quickly and Levan nicely punches his way inside with body punches. Then, he presses Dias against the cage, looking for a take down.

Levan swings big on separation from the take down attempt but mostly misses. Levan gets Dias pressed back up against the cage, again, but can’t complete the take down.

Knees to the body from Levan, score. The fans boo because, you know, they could totally do better than this…

Referee John McCarthy feels pressured by the crowd and separates the two fighters. They go right back to the clinch, afterwards, because they are grapplers and that is where this fight is taking place.

It is so improper for Referees to try and dictate action. They have their hands full making sure fighters are safe and following rules.

Separating clinching grapplers won’t suddenly turn them into Julio Cesar Chavez, out there. Grapplers gon’ grapple. Don’t like it, there’s boxing and kickboxing over there, y’all.

With under a minute left, both men struggling hard for inside position, looking for take downs. Levan counters a take down attempt with a slick reverse body lock lift take down, of sorts!

With 10 seconds left in the round, Levan hammering Dias from on top in the half guard with elbows!

Official Decision:

Dias wins a split decision with scores of 29-28 (twice) and 28-29.

Alex Oliveira (11-2) vs. Joe Merritt (6-0)

Round 1

Oliveira wastes little time in pressing Merritt against the cage. Oliveira looking for a double leg, then works for a single leg.

Merritt shows good balance, against the cage, and stays upright. Oliveira switches to an outside trip, but Merritt defends and then reverses – pressing the Brazilian against the cage.

"The Cowboy" takes back the position, however, and scores a take down with under two and a half minutes left in the round. Oliveira immediately takes the back and works for a rear naked choke, with Merritt face-up.

Oliveira locks in a figure-four lock from behind. Good amount of hand fighting between the two, as Oliveira looks to get into position to attempt the RNC.

Merritt forces a reversal and turns into Oliveira. Merritt lands big elbows from inside the full guard of Oliveira!

Elbow after elbow land for the American! Oliveira stands back up and Merritt lands a punch and a knee to the body to end the round!

Round 2

Oliveira lands a right elbow to start the round. Oliveira misses with a high kick, falls to the floor, but Merritt lets him stand back up.

Oliveira lands a short hook punch and then defends a take down attempt from Merritt and ends up in the mount. Merritt muscles out of the bad position once again, and ends up in the full guard of Oliveira.

Oliveira pulls down on the head of Merritt to try and control the former football player’s posture. Merritt presse Oliveira against the cage, lands two elbows.

Oliveira stands up but then eats a knee. Merritt presses him against the cage, and Oliveira is cut above an eye.

Oliveira reverses position against the cage and secures another take down. Merritt attempts to scramble up, but gets his back taken in the process.

Merritt survives the choke on the feet, but gets pulled down to the mat, with his back taken.

Oliveira continuing to look for the choke with under 30 seconds left. Merritt once more hustles up to the top position. 

Oliveira locks in a triangle choke attempt, but Merritt stands up and slams the Brazilian to the mat to defend.

Round 3

Both men look understandably exhausted, here. Oliveira presses Merritt against the cage 30 seconds into the round.

Merritt defends, backed against the cage. They trade knee strikes to one another’s legs.

Merritt locks up a Kimura shoulder lock hold on Oliveira while defending the take down attempt. Oliveira goes for the take down but ends up mounted.

Merritt loses position, they stand and Merritt eats a big punch. Merritt gets swept to the ground, but stands right back up.

Oliveira on the back of Merritt, and then he picks up the debuting fighter and suplex slams him to the ground. Oliveira punching from behind with a minute and a half in the round.

Merritt stands up but Oliveira sticks to his back. Merritt taken down again, but stands up once again.

Oliveira takes him down once more, pins his face to the mat and takes his back. Merritt gets his hips back, and faces the sky, with Oliveira still on his back, against the cage, with 30 seconds left.

The round and fight ends with Oliveira working the rear naked choke attempt.

Official Decision:

Oliveira wins a unanimous decision win with scores of 30-27 from all three judges.

Leandro Silva (17-2) vs. Lewis Gonzalez (10-1)

Round 1

Gonzalez presses Silva against the cage, early, but Silva returns the favor shortly thereafter. Silva scores a takedown, Gonzalez gets up, but "Buscape" soon drags him down once more.

Gonzalez does a great job of reversing positions on the ground, however and gets on top before Silva returns to his feet. Silva fires his left kick to the body and it is mostly blocked by Gonzalez.

Silva lands two knees in a row to the head but Gonzalez lands a takedown. From the bottom, Silva locks in a heel hook. 

Gonzalez turns and burns and escapes the hold, before heading into the full guard. Silva immediately shifts his hips to attempt an arm bar on Gonzalez’s right arm.

Gonzalez defends the hold Silva moves his feet to the hips of Gonzalez, pushes away, and gets the distance he needs to stand back up, with about a minute left in the round. 

Gonzalez shoots for a takedown, gets stuffed but lands a knee, on his way back up. Silva misses with a spinning heel kick, lands a knee but gets take down again.

Silva immediately looks for an omoplata shoulder lock, which is defended. The round ends with Gonzalez on top, inside Silva’s own guard.

Round 2

The two men trade takedown attempts, in the first minute of the second round. Up against the cage, Gonzalez lands an elbow strike to the head, then eats right punch to his own dome.

Silva scores a takedown from the clinch, briefly, but Gonzalez bounces back up from his knees. Silva keeps pressing forward, however, and scores a decisive takedown that sticks.

Silva quickly moves from full to half guard, on top, with two minutes left. Silva works to take the back, then the arm.

Gonzalez defends the lock, ends up on top and rains punches down. Silva once more does a good job of pushing off the hips with his feet and gets back up.

Gonzalez works for a takedown, but Silva works a switch, with under a minute left. Silva gets to the side of a turtled-up Gonzalez.

Silva gets the back of Gonzalez and looks for a choke. Gonzalez survives, however, and the round ends.

Round 3

Gonzalez lands a right punch, early, then an inside leg kick. Silva leaps forward and lands two straight punches to the head.

Gonzalez lands his own straight punch, then presses Silva against the cage. Silva gets double underhooks and reverses Gonzalez, pushing him against the cage.

Whoa, both men land big overhand rights to the head. Gonzalez is bleeding over his right now, now.

Gonzalez lands a left body kick. He lunges in and Silva lands a counter right jab to the chin. 

Suddenly, Silva charges in, lands two punches to the head, then a knee! Gonzalez changes levels to shoot in, but Silva easily sprawls out, then moves to the back to attempt a choke.

Silva is too high on the back of Gonzalez, and the American gets top position. Silva works for an arm bar, but Gonzalez defends.

Silva maintains his cool while seated, against the cage, and takes Gonzalez’s back for a moment. Gonzalez hustles and takes the top position, again.

Gonzalez lands big punches from on top! Silva shoots for another heel hook but Gonzalez defends and gontinues to punch. 

Gonzalez spins out, then lands on top, in side mount. Silva gets to his feet and ends the round pressing Silva against the cage.

Official Decision:

Silva wins a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 (twice), and 29-27.

Steve Montgomery (8-2) vs. Tony Sims (11-2)

Round 1

Oh, so you’re an aspiring fighter hoping that you’re kick ass nickname will get you attention? Sorry, you will never compete with Steve "The Creepy Weasel" Montgomery in that area.

The 6’4" welterweight now fights Tony Sims, a natural lightweight. Sims took this fight on short notice, up a class, to get his opportunity in the UFC.

Montgomery also making his debut, tonight. Sims lands a nice overhand left and shoots in for a takedown. 

Sims doesn’t get the takedown, but he presses the absurdly much larger man against the cage, using a left underhook and good head position. Montgomery flares his own underhook and circles out to get away from the cage and back in the center of the cage.

Sims certainly looks to be the quicker, smoother striker. Sims lands another left overhand right to the chin but Montgomery responds with a rocking knee strike to the head.

Sims keeps his footing, however, and soon lands the third left overhand punch of the night and it is the last one he needs. Steve Montgomery goes out, cold, and falls backwards to the mat.

The referee smartly steps in to stop the fight. Montgomery protests the stoppage but it is only because he doesn’t understand what just happened.

Official Decision:

Tony Sims wins his UFC debut with a knockout (punch to the head) at 2:43 of the first round.

Danny Martinez (16-6) vs. Sirwan Kakai (11-2)

Round 1

Both men fighting on short notice, here. Kakai doing so in his debut.

Martinez comes out strong, throwing lots of punch and kick combinations. Most of them miss, however, but a minute in, his pressure begins to pay off, and he lands well with several shots.

Kakai has had enough of that and shoots in and scores a double leg takedown. Martinez is able to use the Octagon fence to help him stand up, but Kakai stays pressed on him.

Martinez is able to circle away from the fence and gets right back to throwing punches. Kakai lands a great one-two punch combination to the head, followed by a huge knee to the head that drops Martinez!

Martinez stands up but he’s hurt badly with two minutes left in the round. Kakai throws and lands two more knees to the head!

Another knee lands for Kakai, followed by elbows and punches that cut Martinez. Martinez locks up a guillotine choke but Kakai defends and escapes.

Kakai lands a left hook counter to the head with under a minute left. Martinez answers with his own hook. 

Martinez throws a big head kick and a right knee to the head, then ends the round firing big shots to the head of Kakai.

Round 2

Martinez starts the round firing often, again with punches. He works the body and head with his hands.

Kakai shows good composure, however, and takes the center of the Octagon and shoots for another double leg take-down against the cage.

Kakai gets the take down and presses Martinez against the cage as he fires left punches to the head of Martinez. Martinez works his way up to his feet but gets dumped again.

Martinez returns to his feet but gets dragged down to the mat once more. Kakai working in his left hook inside the left leg of Martinez, attempting to get to the back.

Martinez turns his back and gets to his feet with 20 seconds left. Kakai lands a knee to the head, Martinez lands an overhand punch and a flying knee to end the round

Round 3

Martinez once again comes out firing, this time with wide, looping punches. Kakai circling away from Martinez’s power and pumping his lead jab to the head.

Martinez simply needs to be fighting at flyweight. Kakai is a lot bigger than him, here at bantamweight.

Martinez goes to work with hooks to the body, once more, then lands a big overhand right to the chin. Martinez throws another high kick but it is blocked. 

Kakai fakes another level change and fires a left hook to the head that just glances. Kakai ducks under a punch from Martinez and lands another double leg take down.

Once again, Martinez is against the cage with Kakai looking to take his back. With under a minute left, Martinez returns to his feet, but Kakai keeps him pressed against the cage and lands two knees to the head.

Martinez backs Kakai against the cage and throws a bunch of punches. Kakai slips many of them, taunts Martinez, as he was taunted, earlier, and counters with a left hand.

Fantastic fight. 

Official Decision:

Kakai wins a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, all around.