Already ranked as the division's number-one contender, Romero's victory is likely to see him installed as the next challenger for the UFC middleweight title, held by Australian Robert Whittaker, who recorded a unanimous decision victory over the Cuban in July past year.
UFC president Dana White reportedly responded to a text message from ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto, saying, "Yes", the plan is for Romero to face Whittaker next. Now, we could be setting up to see the former champ Rockhold reclaim his throne after losing his belt in one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history. But when it comes down to it, Romero missed weight and as impressive as the performance was against Rockhold, it's hard to reward him for coming in at 187.7lbs, 2.7lbs above the 185lbs middleweight title fight limit.
Round 1: With a touch of the gloves, both middleweights me in the center of the Octagon.
The Cuban said after the fight that he was "pretty sure he broke his leg" from a Rockhold kick in the opening round.
Romero - competing on a broken right leg sustained in the first round - proved he has fists of fury, as well.
Rockhold showed great offensive striking and pivoted away from Romero's hooks masterfully in Round 1. But he didn't win a belt for his efforts. However, Romero had an extra two hours of weight cutting and will have to fight less than 24 hours later. Rockhold will look to push a pace to tire Romero out and eventually get him on his back. He quickly and opened a small cut over Rockhold's eye. As Romero so often does, he came to life in the second round. As the round ticked to an end, Rockhold slapped in three straight jabs to Romero's leaking nose.
Romero is violent, explosive and has fantastic wrestling.
On the preliminary card, Jussier Formiga and Israel Adesanya made statements, with Formiga choking Ben Nguyen unconscious after dropping him with a spinning backfist.
It was a tactic the 26-year-old upstart would turn to eight more times over the final two rounds to grind out a unanimous decision victory over the veteran knockout artist, earning him the biggest win of his career and pushing his unbeaten streak to five.