Fate made Chris Weidman the only New Yorker on this card, but his accomplishments as a champ who took out nearly everyone is what made him a star – and what makes the crowd cheer for him in his fight against Yoel Romero tonight.
They circle, with Weidman pecking away at the Olympic wrestler with kicks and punches. Romero responds with measured, calculated kicks and punches of his own, seemingly keen on conserving his limited stamina, and Weidman mixed in some takedowns – which are actually successful, if for the scant one or two half-seconds it takes for Romero to get back up. When the horn sounds it’s probably the American who’s ahead on the scorecards, courtesy of those takedowns.
The interminable striking contest continues in Round 2, as Weidman throws and lands about three times as many strikes as his opponent does, and yet the action is less than satisfying because it looks like one person came to fight and one person came to do something else. But with a minute and a half left in the round, Romero goes into wrestler mode, and he sweeps the former champ and does a fantastic job of scrambling and staying on top. Weidman doesn’t really take any damage, but the horn sounds with Romero above him.
They come out swinging in the third, and then Romero does what Romero does, which is EXPLODE. With Weidman changing levels for a takedown, the Cuban lands a flying knee square to the head that has Weidman fetal and gushing blood everywhere. And that’s all she wrote, folks.
Results: Yoel Romero def. Chris Weidman via TKO (Knee and Punches) at :24, R3