Whittaker recovered from a hyperextended knee in the first round with a strong striking performance. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images/AFP
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Robert Whittaker won the UFC interim middleweight title Saturday night, surging in the late rounds to earn a unanimous decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 213 . Whittaker (20-4) recovered from a hyperextended knee in the first round with a strong striking performance, peppering Romero (12-2) with punches and kicks over the final three rounds. Romero's Olympic-level wrestling skills kept Whittaker on the defensive for much of the first two rounds. Whittaker increased his striking output while Romero sat back in the third and fourth, with Whittaker also defending Romero's takedowns more adroitly. Romero was cut on his left eyebrow while Whittaker had a bloody nose and mouth in the final round, which looked even until Romero slipped onto his back with 90 seconds left after failing to land a strike. Whittaker jumped on top to rain down blows to the final horn.All three judges saw the fight identically, scoring the first two rounds for Romero and the final three for Whittaker.
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