To kick off the UFC on FOX 11 main card at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., middleweights Yoel Romero and Brad Tavares entered the cage in a bout that was sure to keep the crowd going.
Romero, an Olympic silver medalist, is one of the best grapplers in mixed martial arts, but he has been unable to find any consistency inside of the octagon, while Tavares entered the bout riding a five-fight winning streak an an impressive 7-1 record in the UFC.
The first-round showcased Romero’s impressive wrestling by throwing Tavares around the mat and dominating him with the top position, which was something the Hawaiin had no answer for. Tavares was displaying toughness throughout the fight despite getting bloodied up, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the strength from the Cuban star.
The fight went the distance, with Romero earning a dominant decision win
Check out the play-by-play for the fight below and our full coverage of tonight’s action by clicking here.
Round 1: Both men started off the fight utilizing their leg kicks and jabs in order to gauge the distance, before Romero came charging in with a jumping knee. Tavares backed against the cage and Romero unleashed a flurry, before changing levels and landing a huge takedown. Tavares bounced back up and pressed Romero against the cage, before throwing the Hawaiin across the cage with another beautiful takedown. Romero continued to stick to Tavares and was able to rag doll him and move him wherever he wanted Tavares to be, but Tavares eventually slipped out and landed an impressive strike. After some wild punches, Romero went back to the mat and began working on Tavares’ neck. Tavares landed a single leg takedown of his own, but Romero reversed position with a kimura attempt.
FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Romero
Round 2: Romero immediately landed a takedown to start the second round, but Tavares was able to get back to his feet without taking any damage. Tavares landed a solid straight to back Romero up, but he ate an elbow when he got comfortable and charged forward. The elbow opened up a gash on Tavares’ head. Romero flew threw the air before landed a huge left and pressured Tavares up against the cage. Tavares was fighting to stay on his feet and was showing plenty of toughness, but Romero was dictating the fight and in clear control. Tavares flew in with a flying knee and pressured Romero up against the cage, but Romero tossed him to the side and immediately reversed position.
FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Romero (20-18, Romero)
Round 3: Tavares fired of a high kick to start the round and went to his jab to keep Romero away. After jabbing to close the distance, Tavares shot for a takedown which proved to be a terrible decision with Romero immediately reversing position and putting Tavares’ back against the cage. Tavares was able to keep the fight standing for most of the final round which played to his advantage, but he couldn’t capitalize on any opportunities. After playing Tavares’ game on the feet, Romero shot in for a powerful takedown that landed. Tavares had one final chance to get the finish in the final minute of the fight, but Romero was able to avoid any damage and landed one final big takedown for good measure.
FanSided scorecard: 10-9, Romero (30-27, Romero)
Result: Yoel Romero def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)