The joy of knocking out Luke Rockhold in the third round at UFC 221 was quickly taken away from Yoel Romero this past weekend.
Romero displayed an obvious amount of pain after his finish, indicating that he believed he suffered a broken leg during the first round in Perth, Western Australia.
Despite the injury, Romero went on to finish Rockhold. He was ineligible to win the interim middleweight title, though, after missing weight.
“I think in the first I took two kids and I’m pretty sure that it broke my leg,” the Olympic silver medalist in wrestling said.
During his post-fight interview with Jon Anik after the win, the 40-year-old Romero sat inside the Octagon on the canvas to discuss his performance. He did the same, this time opting for a chair, when he talked with Megan Olivi on FOX Sports 1.
Romero admitted that taking the fight on short notice “messed up a little bit” of his weight-cut pattern. He was originally scheduled to fight a few weeks after UFC 221 vs. David Branch before accepting the Rockhold contest.
Abraham Kawa, the manager for Romero, confirmed via social media that the fighter did not in fact break his leg.
“In the hospital, leg is fine people couple weeks and he will be good to go,” Kawa wrote.
With @YoelRomeroMMA in the hospital. Leg is fine people couple weeks and he will be good to go
— Ibrahim Kawa (@Abraham_kawa) February 11, 2018
Robert Whittaker, the reigning UFC middleweight champion, remains sidelined following an injury that knocked him out of UFC 221, leaving a potential date for a rematch with Romero unknown. Last year, Whittaker scored a decision victory vs. Romero to claim the interim title at that time.
UFC officials later made Whittaker the undisputed champion of the 185 pound division when Georges St-Pierre relinquished the title after a victory over Michael Bisping.
Here’s a look at the stats from Romero-Rockhold courtesy Fight Analytics: