As it happened - UFC 221: Luke Rockhold vs Yoel Romero

Thank you all so much for joining me this afternoon. We had a lot of peeps on the article so good to see the MMA community growing. Due to broadcast rights we can't post a highlights video until 6am Monday morning.

MAIN CARD

Catchweight: Luke Rockhold vs Yoel Romero

Yoel Romero defeats Luke Rockhold by KO in Round 3.

That's what Yoel Romero can do. Rockhold looked in control and in a flash he is asleep on the ground. Missed oppurtunity for Romero as he won't win the interim belt due to missing weight. Back to the drawing board for Rockhold. Romero should book a rematch with Robert Whittaker after that although Ronaldo Souza may have something to say about that after his recent win over Derek Brunson.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11:  (L-R) Yoel Romero of Cuba punches Luke Rockhold in their interim middleweight title bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty
Yoel Romero stopped Luke Rockhold in round 3 of their Main Event fight.
Yoel Romero stopped Luke Rockhold in round 3 of their Main Event fight. Photo credit: Getty

Time for the  Main Event. Interim middleweight strap on the line. Only Rockhold can claim the belt however as Romero missed weight. The winner will figh Australian Rob Whittaker for the undisputed title. Rockhold bounced back from his title loss to Michael Bisping last time out against David Branch. The American is 16-3 overall with a UFC record of 6-2. Romero lost to Whittaker last time out - his only UFc loss. the Sydney 2000 silver medallist is 12-2 overall and 8-1 in the UFC.

Round 1: Okay here we go. Rockhold looks uber confident but he always does. Fighters toucg gloves and we are underway. Leg kick from Rockhold to start. Rockhold kick heavy on offence in the opening minute Nice one-two from Rockhold. The American has blood on his shin after Romero checked a leg kick. Ouch. Rockhold pressuring Romero and lands a nice straight left. Romero with a head kick but it's blocked as Rockhold lands a heavy leg kick in reply. Rockhold evades a big overhand left from Romero and goes right back to his leg kick offence. Romero lands a couple of leg kicks himself that gets Rockhold's attention and he follows with a nice left. Head kick from Rockhold is blocked by Romero. Another big leg kick from Romero wobbles Rockhold but he recovers quickly.Nice one-two from Rockhold to end the round. Close.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Rockhold.

Round 2: Romero explodes to open the round and Rockhold is backing up as the Cuban lands a couple big punches. Romero lands again but Rockhold looks fully recovered. Rockhold back to his kicking game plan, mixes it up with a head kick but it's blocked. Romero pressing but looking to conserve his energy not throwing too much. Rockhold gets backed up again by another offensive explosion from Romero but he avoided any big shots. Nice body kick from Rockhold followed by a left hand. Rockhold backing up a bit as he looks to pick his shots. Romero throws another big left but misses. Nice double jab from the American followed by a straight left ... he ends the round well but Romero's offensive output at the start was good enough to claim the round.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Romero.

Round 3: Rockhold light on his feet to begin the round. Lands a nice left followed bu a heavy leg kick. Romero walking forward but being picked apart a bit here. Triple jab from Rockhold lands and so does a counter right. Romero drops him with a huge left hand and Rockhold is out cold and that is the fight. Wow - Just like that. Rockhold is stunned. Massive punch from Romero. Wow. Just wow!

Heavyweight: Mark Hunt vs Curtis Blaydes 

Curtis Blaydes defeats Mark Hunt by unanimous decision.

So Blaydes gets the win off the back of his wrestling. he wanted none of Mark Hunt's standup game after being within seconds of losing. Hunt couldn't stop the wrestling game of Blaydes and that was the key to the fight.

Mark Hunt couldn't stop the wrestling game of Curtis Blaydes.
Mark Hunt couldn't stop the wrestling game of Curtis Blaydes. Photo credit: Getty
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11:  (R-L) Curtis Blaydes celebrates his victory over Mark Hunt of New Zealand in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

This is a big fight for Mark Hunt. With three fights left on his UFC contract he cannot afford to lose here to have any chance of claiming UFC gold. Hunt has won 3 of his last 5 with one no contest. His overall UFC record is 8-5-1. Blades hasn't lost since April 2016. He is 8-1-1 overall with a UFC record of 3-1-1. His only loss coming against recent title challenger Francis Ngannou.

Round 1: Hunt looks like he is waiting for his Starbuck order. So calm and ready to smash face. Blaydes looks busy to start ... throwing a few shadown punches as he searches for range. Hunt just working the American out early. Nice jab by Blades, Hunt misses a huge counter. Blades faking a few takedowns and Hunt is wary of that part of the Americans game. Nice overhand from Hunt but Blaydes connects with a counter uppercut. Blaydes gets the takedown but Hunt is straight back up. Hunt dodges a huge right from Blaydes and he lands a massive right hand and Blaydes is hurt ... badly. Mark rocks him again but Blaydes shoots and gets a desperation takedown and has Hunt on the ground. The fights was seconds from being stopped but Blaydes hitting that takedown is huge. Blaydes bleeding from his forehead but he is working nicely on top here ... Hunt taking a few shots as Blaydes finds the mount and then Hunt's back but the round ends. Wow.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Hunt but the final couple minutes could swing it back to Blaydes.

Round 2: Blaydes shoots right of the bat but Hunt stuffs it nicely. Blaydes wants the fight on the ground. Hunt keeping calm as Blaydes closes the distance. Hunt with nice head movement to dodge a big Blaydes right hand. Hunt with zero offensive output in the opening 2.30 of the round. Nice jab from Blades, Hunt fires back but Blaydes evades and scores another takedown in the centre of the cage. Blaydes working well on top here as Hunt looks to seperate from the bottom but can't. This round is all Blaydes with 60-seconds on the clock. Blaydes landing a few nice elbows but Hunt is staying calm from the bottom. Blaydes postures and lands a big right - Hunt tries to escape but Blaydes earns side control as the round come to an end.

Newshub scores the round for Blaydes 10-9.

Round 3: Blaydes launches across the ring and scores a takedown - ends up in full mount. Trouble for the Kiwi here. Blaydes throwing some nice punches from top. Hunt escapes the mount as Blaydes settles into half guard. Hunt has to get up or he will lose this one. Blaydes all over Hunt as the Kiwi looks to use the cage to get up but Blaydes forces him to his back. Hunt trying to cage walk to get himself up but Blaydes throws him down again. Huge power from the American as Hunt gets up again with 2-minutes to go but the American scores another takedown and is landing more heavy punches. Blaydes dominating the action - Hunt fighting hard but can't escape. Hunt gets back to the feet but Blaydes gives him no space and shoots again and scores his ninth takedown with 30-seconds on the clock. Blaydes all over the Kiwi as the fight ends. 

Newshub scores the round for Curtis Blaydes 10-8 and the fight 29-27.

Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa vs Cyril Asker

Tai Tuivasa defeats Cyril Asker by KO in Round 1.

Okay so that was impressive. Tuivasa has some serious power in those hands and will pose problems for a lot of guys. Still hasn't been tested by some of the divisions elite grapplers but the guy can punch. Brutal.

Tai Tuivasa made short work of Cyril Asker.
Tai Tuivasa made short work of Cyril Asker. Photo credit: Getty

The very talented Tai Tuivasa has the sort of hype on him that Israel Adesanya has. He won his first UFC fight by flying knee KO in the first round and is 8-0 overall - all wins by stoppage. Asker is 2-2 in the UFC and 9-3 overall. Love me some heavyweight action.

Round 1: Don't blink. Fighters touch gloves to begin. Tuivasa with some heavy hands to open up with ... he is trying to make a statement early on. Presses Asker against the cage by Asker fights him off. Big uppercut from Tai and Asker is in deep trouble. Tai unloading on the Frenchman with heavy hands but he is still on his feet. Another huge right lands. Asker is tough as Tai nails him again and Asker is down and the fight is over. Total destruction. That is a dangerous, dangerous man right there.

Welterweight: Jake Matthews vs Li Jingliang

Jake Matthews defeats Li Jingliang by unanimous decision.

Two judges gave the same score as me - great performance from the Australian. He is rollling in this new weight class. Matthews all class in victory - has no bad blood for the foul by Li Jingliang. Great fight.

Jake Matthews was impressive in his win over Li Jingliang.
Jake Matthews was impressive in his win over Li Jingliang. Photo credit: Getty

Former lightweight Jake Matthews, who many pundits predicted UFC gold in his future is up next. His second stint in the 170 pound division. Matthews is 5-3 in the UFC and 1-0 at welterweight. Jingliang has won his last four straight. His UFC record is 6-2 with a pro record of 11-4.

Round 1: Matthews is a big unit. The mind boggles as what he put his body through to crack the lightweight division. Feeling out process to begin. Jingliang with a low stance ... wary of the grappling game of the Australian. Big right hand from Matthews rocks Li but he recovers quickly.  Matthews doing well, has his range worked out a bit better than Li and as I say that Matthews drops him with a big right hand, followed by a left and Li is down... Matthews straight into full mount and he is landing some heavy shots, Li turtles to his back and Matthews is looking for the choke but Li is defending it well. Matthews dominating with 60-seconds on the clock. Matthews is all over Li who is fighting hard but Jake is keeping him down. Round ends with Matthews landing some heavy blows and he takes that round with ease.

Newshub scores the round 10-8 for Matthews.

Round 2: Matthews lands another massive right to open the round .. he drops back for the guillotine choke but Li fights through it and ends up on top but Matthews back to his feet and he is cut open from something. Both guys swinging for the fences but neither lands. Li walking forward, Matthews looking a little gassed. Big combi from Li and Matthews is introuble but he fires back with a huge left that has Li walking back. Both guys looking for a finish on the feet. Matthews recovering a bit now as the oace has slowed. Li still stalking the Australian though. Matthews with a nice counter one-two to Li's body. Both guys swinging huge rights and lefts ... great stuff. Li walks forward and swings but can't land as the round ends. Great round.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 to Matthews.

Round 3: Replay shows that Li gouged Matthews eyes to escape the choke. That is a dirty ass move. Hope he loses ... just saying. Matthews earns an early takedown but Li is back up quickly. Li chasing Matthews but the Australian is replying with good counters. Pace has slowed big time as Matthews lands a HUGE right hand that drops Li but somehow he has found himself on top in Matthews' guard. Crazy fight. Matthews fights back to his feet and presses Li against the cage looking to secure a crucial takedown. Fighters seperate and they are back to the centre of the cage. Matthews with a nice counter right - Li still pressing forward and looks dangerous. Flying knee from Matthews lands but Li's chin is made of cement. Takedown by Matthews is stuffed by Li as time runs out. Great fight but hope Matthews gets the nod after that cheap foul by Li.

Newshub scores the round to Matthews 10-9 and the fight 30-26.

Light heavyweight: Tyson Pedro vs Saparbek Safarov

Tyson Pedro defeats Saparbek Safarov by sumbmission in Round 1.

I got big wraps on Tyson Pedro - he is very impressive. If he gets his cardio up to scratch he is a dangerous guys with power and a great sumbmission game. That was slick ju-jitsu from Pedro and he should jump into the divisions top 10 with that win. Great stuff.

Tyson Pedro outmatched Saparbek Safarov in Perth.
Tyson Pedro outmatched Saparbek Safarov in Perth. Photo credit: Getty

Pedro has been impressive in his short UFC stint, despite a loss last time out against the very tough Ilir Latifi. He will head to the cage with two UFC wins with a pro record of 6-1 with all wins coming in the first round. The Russian Safarov hasn't fought since September 2016 when he lost his UFC debut. He is 8-1 overall in MMA.

Round 1: Pedro has alot of potential but gassed badly in his last fight. Let's see if he has worked on his cardio. Pedro with a brutal leg kick to open but Safarov takes him down with ease and has earned top control but Pedro does very well to get back to his feet anmd seperate. Pedro land a nice knee to the head of Safarov who shoots again but the Australian stuffs it nicely. Pedro with a nice jab, lands a huge right to follow up and then a knee ... Safarov shoots but can't get the takedown and Pedro sperates again. Nice straight left from Safarov but Pedro gets the clinch and lands a huge knee but Safarov gets the clinch and the takedown as he throws a few punches on the ground ... Pedro reverses the position with a sick sweep, turns it into a kimura and Safarov taps!! Wow what a finish - that was beautiful ju-jitsu and grappling from the Australian.

About to get underway with the main card. If you haven't heard Yoel Romero cannot win the interim middleweight strap tonight after failing to make weight by over 2-pounds. Luke Rockhold will win the belt if he can top the Cuban. Fighters for the opening fight should be in the cage by 4.15pm.

PRELIMS

Lightweight: Damien Brown vs Dong Hyun Kim

Dong Hyun Kim defeats Damien Brown via split decision.

Was a super close fight - no real surprise that the judges were splt. Not a great fight - both guys didn't really pull the trigger. Main card coming up in 10 minutes.

Dong Hyun Kim took a split call from Damien Brown.
Dong Hyun Kim took a split call from Damien Brown. Photo credit: Getty

Final fight of the prelims coming up. Australian Damien Brown has 17 wins in 28 fights including a UFC record of 2-3. Kim has won his last two in the UFC for a company record of 2-2 and overall record of 15-8-3 but has won 9 from his last 12.

Round 1: Okay here we go with the final fight of the undercard. Brown pushing the pace with movement but not really throwing anything. Nice leg kick from Kim. Both guys very cautious to start which is crazy as both these guys normally throw down ... that could still happen. Brown drops Kim with a well timed leg kick, Kim straight back up but Brown going straight back to the leg kick and Kim reacts to it. Brown fighting smart here. Nice counter one-two from Brown as Kim went to the body. Brown looks calm, isn't throwing alot but looks in control. Nice head kick from Kim is blocked - Brown replies with a big right hand but Kim shakes it off. Pace picking up with 45-seconds to go in the round. Brown still pushing forward using his jab effectively. Round ends with a front kick from Brown and he takes the round IMO.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Damien Brown.

Round 2: Kim looking to be a little more aggressive to start the 2nd. Throwing some nice kick right off the bat. Brown following him round the cage but not throwing ... he is looking to counter. Nice leg kick from Kim as he evades a counter right from Brown. Body punch from Kim lands as does a double jab ... he has much bigger output in this round. Brown swings and misses with a big overhand as Kim lands a nice jab in reply. Brown connects with half of a combo but Kim is unfazed.Round ends with Kim dropping Brown with a leg kick.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Kim.

Round 3: Brown fell asleep in the second - offered no offence at all. he starts a little more aggressive here ... he's thrown more in the opening two-minutes than he did the entire second-round. Brown pushing the pace - backing up Kim but the Korea is staying busy with front and leg kicks. Nice straight left from Kim snaps Brown's head back but he doesn't follow. Not much happening as the crowd gets a little restless. Double jab from Brown but Kim waves it off ... swing and a miss from Brown buy Kim can't land on the counter. Anyones fight but not on a good way. Brown continues to walk forward as he throws a nice overhand, Kim replies with a body kick. No leg kciks from Brown since round 1 which is kinda dumb as they were effective. Round ends with Brown walking forward and throwing but can't land. Toss up.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Brown and the fight 29-28 but it could go either way.

 

Middleweight: Rob Wilkinson vs Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya defeats Rob Wilkinson by TKO in Round 2.

Well hello Israel Adesanya. That was a impressive. He fought back from dropping the first and smashed the fight out of Rob Wilkinson with an elite level striking performance. Awesome!

Israel goes all Conor McGregor after the fight calling out the whole division - "Middleweights, there is a new dog in town and I just pissed all over this cage!"

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11:  Israel Adesanya of Nigeria prepares to enter the octagon before facing Rob Wilkinson of Australia in their middleweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11:  (L-R) Israel Adesanya of Nigeria punches Rob Wilkinson of Australia in their middleweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11:  Israel Adesanya of Nigeria celebrates his victory over Rob Wilkinson of Australia in their middleweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

Okay so we are about 10-minutes away from the highly hyped debut of 11-0 Kiwi striker Israel Adesanya. This guy is a legit threat to anyone who chooses to strike with him ... the question is can he grapple? My sources say yes but we may see that for real in this fight. Wilkinson is 11-1 as a pro, 0-1 in the UFC. He lost by TKO last time out but he does have seven submission wins. A slight hold up here as the Fox broadcast team breakdown the Main Event. Should be underway with Adesanya's debut at 3.10pm ... in the meantime check out this feature we did with Israel last week here.

Round 1: Okay here we go. Huge pressure on Israel to perform here. Cautious start ... Israel searching for range with his legs ... Wilkinson shoots but for now it's stuffed by the Kiwi. Action up agaunst the cage and Wilkinson goes for a front choke but Izzy escapes. Adesanya staying calm and bounces back to his feet after Wilkinson gets him down. Good pressure from the Australian but Israel defending very well for now. Wilkinson sticking to him like glue but Izzy breakes free and we are back to the centre. Nice jab by Adesanya followed by a head kick..overhand right hook lands and Wilkinson shoots but Adesanta fights off the takedown again but he is losing the round with under a minute left. Wilkinsin trying to force the fight to the ground but Adesanya is having none of it but he can't escape the clinch of Wilikinson as the round comes to an end.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Wilkinson.

Round 2: Israel needs to find some space in this round and he comes out aggressive wit a couple nice combos. Wilkinson looks for the takedown again but Izzy fights it off. Nice jab from Izzy - folowed by a bryutal body punch as Wilkinson's takedown is stuffed again and again. Head kick from Izzy followed by a huge knee but Wilkinson gets a takedown, although Izzy is straight back to his feet. Wilkinson's pressure game is good though but Izzy breaks free - throws a huge uppercut and Wilkinson is backing up. Leg kick from Izzy and he stuffs the takedown Izzy closing in on Wilkinson here - nice combo ended with a huge knee but Wilkinson is tough .. Izzy is relentless as he throws another huge knee and Wilkinson is down and that's the fight. Wow! Brutal striking display in the second round by Adesanya. Clinic folks.

Featherweight: Jeremy Kennedy vs Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski defeats Jeremy Kennedy by TKO in Round 2.

It doesn't get more dominant than that. Only one guy in that fight from opening bell to the referee's stoppage. Lookout featherweights - we may have a new contender on our hands.

Alexander Volkanovski dominated at UFC 221.
Alexander Volkanovski dominated at UFC 221. Photo credit: Getty

Featherwight action now as Australian Alex Volkanovski searches for his fourth straight UFC win - he hasn't lost a fight since May 2013. Canada's Jeremy Kennedy in undefeated at 11-0 and he is 3-0 in the UFC.

Round 1: Two highly touted prospects about to clash in Perth. The Commonwealth Games come early here - Canada v Australia. Fighters touch gloves and we are underway. Cautious start from both as they search for range. Kennedy shoots for a takedown but it's stuffed by Volkanovski who now pushes the action against the cage. He looks very strong in that position and secures his first takedown of the fight. Kennedy with quite an offensive guard as he looks for a kimura on the Australians right arm but he can't get it. Volkanovski into half guard and he is landing some heavy blows. he looks super strong in this spot with 2-minutes on the clock. The Australian dominating here, landing heavy,heavy shots. Kennedy try's to scramble but the Australian is having none of it as he continues this top control. kennedy finally gets back to his feet with 10-seconds on the clock.

Newshub scores the eound 10-8 for Volkanovski.

Round 2: More of the same as the Australian lands an early takedown and he is straight into this half guard spot with Kennedy pressed up against the fence. The Canadian manages to get back to full guard but Volkanovski still throwing heavy punches. The Australian gets to side control, postures up annd a couple huge right hands, Kennedy just being smashed here ... smashed! He is moving as the referee comes in to warn him, the Australian lanns another huge punch and Marc Goddard stops the fight just before the end of the round. Wow what a masterful wrestling and ground and pound performance from Alex Volkanovski.

 

Flyweight: Jussier Formiga vs Ben Nguyen

Jussier Formiga defeats Ben Nguyen via submission in the 3rd round.

OMG! That was a spinning back fist for the ages. Nguyen was looking good but a lazy head kick was the beginning of the end. Formiga's ju-jitsu game is very slick and he locked that choke in very quickly. This should bounce the Brazilian into the top 3 in UFC's flyweight rankings.

Jussier Formiga stopped Australian Ben Nguyen in the third round.
Jussier Formiga stopped Australian Ben Nguyen in the third round. Photo credit: Getty
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11:  (L-R) Jussier Formiga of Brazil submits Ben Nguyen in their flyweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

This could be a fight of the night candidate. Nguyen is an exciting talent and Formiga has been a top 5 flyweight for the last three years.

Formiga is 6-4 in the UFC, his Australian opponent is 5-1.

Round 1: The Australian trying to set a fast pace to begin with as he pushes Formiga against the cage right off the bat. Formiga seperates but Nguyen right back to the clinch as he throws a few nice knees as the fighters battle. they seperate and we are back to the centre of the cage. head kick from Nguyen and again he forces Formiga to the fence and we are back to a clinch position. Nice right counter right from Formiga as they seperate ... Formiga shoots and gets a takedown with an outside trip. Formiga gets to the full mount position - not a great spot to be in for the Australian against a Ju-jitsu black belt. Round ends with Formiga on top. He should take the round with that late dominance.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 to Formiga.

Round 2: The Australian has opened up a cut in the forehead of the Brazilian ... may have been an accidental headbut. Formiga looking for another countdown but Nguyen stuffs it well as they fighters seperate. It was an elbow that cut Formiga. The Brazilian secures his second takedown of the fight. This is the game of Formiga ... he is very heavy on top but as I say that the Australian scrambles his way back to his feet and the fighters are back to the centre of the cage. Nguyen looking sharp on his feet as he lands a head kick as the round comes to an end. Looks like the Australian copped a finger to the eyeball right at the end of the round and the doctor is checking him out.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 to Nguyen but it could go either way.

Round 3: Super close fight - Nguyen has only lost two minutes of the fight late in the first but that could prove crucial. The Australian looking to be aggressive to start but can't land anything of note. Head kick from Nguyen misses and Formiga lands a huge spinning back fist and the Australian is down ... Formiga jumps on him, gets his back and sinks in a slick rear naked choke and Nguyen taps! Huge win for the Brazilian and Perth is silenced.

Lightweight: Ross Pearson vs Mizuto Hirota

Ross Pearson defeats Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision.

Two judges gave all 3-rounds to Pearson. A great bounce back fight for the Brit. He is a tough out for anyone in the UFC and he calls out Dan Hooker for a rematch during his post fight interview.

Ross Pearson was too good for Mizuto Hirota.
Ross Pearson was too good for Mizuto Hirota. Photo credit: Getty

Veteran Brit Ross Pearson up next - he will look to bounce back from a devastating KO loss to Kiwi Dan Hooker last time out. Pearson has 23 UFC fights with a record of 10-12-1. Hirota is 1-3 in the UFC and 18-8-2 overall.

Round 1: Both guys looking to establish range. Despite four straight losses Pearson is still a high level striker and looks super smooth on the feet. He lands a georgeous counter left hook off a leg kick from Hirota. Nice leg kick from Pearson 2-minutes in. Pearson showing nice head movement as Hirota is struggling to land as Pearson ducks a superman punch. Lovely left again on the slip and rip ... Pearson looking great but he also looked great against 'The Hangman' last year. Horota goes for the takedown but it's well stuffed by the Brit. Pearson attempts a flying knee to end the round.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Pearson.

Round 2: Pearson starts well again as Hirota misses with a body punch and Pearson lands a one-two on the counter. Hirota is landin leg kicks though which may pay off later in the fight. The Brit throws a huge overhand that misses but he lands a nice left hook as Hirota fires back. Head kick from Pearson is blocked by Hirota. Nice one-two combo from Pearson lands to the chin as Hirota's nose starts to drip with blood. Another lovely counter from Pearson lands ... clinic from Pearson so far. Hirota lands a nice right and he starts swinging widely and a huge right overhand lands ... Pearson backed up to end the round. Hirota may have snuck that at the end.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 to Hirota but it could go either way.

Round 3: Pearson will be annoyed to have let Hirota back into the fight at the end of the second but he looks fine as the final round gets underway. Fighters exchange leg kicks but Hirota landing the heavier and Pearson starting to feel the effects of the constant attack to his left leg. Hirota looking better but as I say that Pearson lands another lovely counter. Head kick from Hirota lands as but Pearson lands a nice uppercut moments later. Close round with 90-seconds to go. Nice kick to the body from the Brit and he follows it with a one-two combo to Hirota's chin. Pearson lands the jab and Hirota replies with a strong leg kick. Head kick from Pearson misses as does a flying knee to end the round and the fight. Great fight ... could be closer than it looked at times.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Pearson and the fight 29-28.

Bantamweight: Teruto Ishihara vs Jose Alberto Quinonez

Jose Alberto Quinonz defeats Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision.

Wow! Two judges scored the fight 30-27 to the Mexican which makes no sense as Ishihara absolutley won the second round but hey never leave the fight in the hands of the judges.

Jose Alberto Quininez lands a head kick on Teruto Ishihara.
Jose Alberto Quininez lands a head kick on Teruto Ishihara. Photo credit: Getty

We turn next to the bantameight division - Ishihara is 3-2-1 in the UFC winning his last fight in September. Quinonez is 3-1 in the UFC, winning his last three straight fights.

Round 1: Both guys aggressive to start. Quinonez lands a nice takedown but Ishihara is up pretty quickly but he is being pressed against the cage by the Mexican. Action is pretty much based around the Mexican looking for this takedown that he can't get. They finally seperate and Ishihara lands a nice left hand followed by a flying knee to end the round. Tought to call that based on the final 30 seconds.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 Ishihara but it could go either way.

Round 2: Both guys shadow kickboxing a bit to start here. A few flashy strikes but nothing connecting. Nice leg kick from Quinonez but Ishihara throws one in return. Not much happening here. Ishihara shoots for the takedown and gets it but the Mexican is straight back up and we are back into the centre of the cage with a this shadow kickboxing display. Neither guy wants to make a mistake ... quite an evenly matched fight but Ishihara is on the front foot a bit more. Ishihara lands a nice left overhand right followed by a couple calf kicks. Quinonez's takedown attempt is stuffed with 30-seconds on the clock. Ishohara drops the Mexican late with a bid counter left but time runs out and he doesn't have time to finish.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Ishihara.

Round 3: Final five minutes.Nice exchange ends with a clinch from Ishihara buy Quinonez land a lovely left elbow as the fighters seperate. nice calf kick from the Mexican again - that is his go to strike as he lands another one but Ishihara seems to be fine despite the constant attack to his right leg. Close round again halfway through as Quinonez continues to attack the legs of his opponent. Head kick from the Mexican lands but Ishihara is fine and he stuffs a takedown attempt from the Mexican. Both guys struggling to land punches as they exchange kicks with 30 seconds on the clock. Bot fighters think they have won as the hooter sounds to end the fight.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Quinonez but the fight 29-28 for Teruto Ishihara.

Welterweight: Luke Jumeau vs Daichi Abe

Luke Jumeau defeats Daichi Abe by unanimous decision

Great job by the Kiwi to bounce back from a slow start in the first round - he dominated the final 10-minutes of action to record his second UFC win in three fights.

Luke Jumeau has won his second fight in the UFC against Daichi Abe.
Luke Jumeau has won his second fight in the UFC against Daichi Abe. Photo credit: Getty

Opening fight of the day about to get underway. 'The Jedi' Luke Jumeau from Hamilton to take on the undefeated striker from Japan Daichi Abe.

The Kiwi making his way out to the Octogon - Jumeau 1-1 in the UFC, 12-4 overall in MMA.

Round 1: Here we go - 7.39am Perth time - early start for these guys. Abe coming out aggressive, the Kiwi will look to counter-strike and that's exactly how this is panning out to begin. Nice jab from Jumeau, Ibe looking to swing early backing the Kiwi up a bit. Couple nice leg kicks from Abe, nice counter overhand right from the Kiwi and he drops Abe but he is straight back up. Jumeau catches a kick but Abe land a big right hand that backs the Kiwi up. Abe aggressive and lands a huge right hand and Jumeau is up against the cage - Abe backs away and Jumeau tells him to come get some. Big right from Abe and Jumeau is down..Abe swarms and the Kiwi is in trouble but he recovers very well and is back up and the fighters are back into the centre of the cage. The Kiwi gets rocked again late in the round but will survive.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Abe.

Round 2: Jumeau needs to change things up a bit. He got banged up a bit in that round. Nice right hand from the Kiwi to begin with and he follows up with an nice takedown but Abe is straight back up. Jumeau bleeding from the nose and mouth - may have a broken nose. Pretty slow start to the round. Abe looking a little tires and Jumeau starting to implement his offence better and lands a couple nice right hands followed by a body kick. Head kick from Jumeau but Abe blocks it. The Kiwi is winning this round for sure and lands another nice right hand then a left. Abe looks gassed while the Kiwi is coming on strong although his face is a mess. Round closes well for the Kiwi with a nice counter left. 

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Jumeau.

Round 3: Final round coming up. This round will clinch the fight for either guy with the first two pretty easy to score. Abe with a nice body kick to start. Nice jab,right combo from Abe. He looks better here although the Kiwi lands a nice right counter. Jumeau is a bit static with his striking ... not throwing combos. Lovely leg kick from the Kiwi followed by a left high kick that lands and gets Abe's attention with 3-minutes left. Jumeau cops a right knuckle in the eye but he is complaining of an eye poke. looks like a legit punch as the ref calls a halt to the action..doctor having a look. The fight will continue but to be honest that was a punch for mine. Fight has resumed. Jumeau lands a nice right followed by a left body kick. He is winning this round with 90 seconds on the clock. Another body kick from the Kiwi scores and he lands a nice counter right after Abe throws a huge left. Leg kick from Jumeau drops Abe who is straight back up and he lands a nice counter right on an agressive Jumeau but the Kiwi shakes it off. Another leg kick from Jumeau drops Abe again to end the round.

Newshub scores the round 10-9 for Jumeau and the fight 29-28 for Luke Jumeau.

As it happened - UFC 221: Luke Rockhold vs Yoel Romero
Photo credit: UFC.com

Welcome to the coverage of today's UFC event on Perth.

Just a reminder to refresh the page so you can keep up with all the live action.

Check out the video above for a feature piece our very own Stephen Foote did with Israel Adesanya.

Title chasing: Adesanya chasing UFC glory 

If you haven't already heard, the Main Event is now a catchweight fight after Yoel Romero missed weight by two-pounds.

Luke Rockhold can win the interim middleweight title but Romero won't claim the belt if he wins the fight.

Kiwi Luke Jumeau will be up first at about 12.30.

Here is a rundown of the card

Preliminary fights

Welterweight: Luke Jumeau vs Daichi Abe

Luke Jumeau at the weigh-ins.
Luke Jumeau at the weigh-ins. Photo credit: Getty

Bantamweight: Teruto Ishihara vs Jose Alberto Quinonez

Lightweight: Ross Pearson vs Mizuto Hirota

Flyweight: Jussier Formiga vs Ben Nguyen

Featherweight: Jeremy Kennedy vs Alexander Volkanovski

Middleweight: Rob Wilkinson vs Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya (right) faces off with Rob Wilkinson.
Israel Adesanya (right) faces off with Rob Wilkinson. Photo credit: Getty

Lightweight: Damien Brown vs Dong Hyun Kim

Main Card

Light heavyweight: Tyson Pedro vs Saparbek Safarov

Welterweight: Jake Matthews vs Li Jinglang

Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa vs Cyril Asker

Heavyweight: Mark Hunt vs Curtis Blaydes

Mark Hunt (left) and Curtis Blaydes stare down at the weigh-ins.
Mark Hunt (left) and Curtis Blaydes stare down at the weigh-ins. Photo credit: Getty

Catchweight: Luke Rockhold vs Yoel Romero