Coming into Friday’s Bellator 280 event in Paris, Yoel Romero had not won a fight since February 2018. Romero left no doubt he still has plenty of gas in the tank, however, as he obliterated Alex Polizzi across three rounds before scoring a literal last-second knockout.
Romero looked sharp from the jump, picking spots to let his hands go and landing with regularity. Polizzi — who had stepped in for the injured Melvin Manhoef — experimented with shooting for takedowns and trying to find space for his own strikes but Romero was simply too quick and too athletic.
Further complicating things for Polizzi was a steady diet of thudding leg kicks from the former multi-time UFC title challenger. The work from Romero continued to pay off, leaving big openings in the second round and allowing him to badly stun Polizzi with massive overhand lefts, one of which dropped Polizzi and left him on rubber legs.
Polizzi was able to survive the scare in the second round, seemingly as much because Romero chose to not press the action as because of his own toughness.
Romero would continue to patiently move forward, landing heavy strikes that drew blood from Polizzi’s nose before cracking again with a lightning-quick combination in the final seconds of the fight that sent Polizzi to the canvas once again.
This time, Romero decided to close the show, landing a few shots on the ground before a thudding uppercut that left Polizzi’s legs completely gone. Referee Mike Beltran decided to jump in and waive off the fight, giving Romero the TKO victory at 4:59 of Round 3.
The only controversy in the fight is whether Polizzi deserved to lose on the cards rather than by knockout given the fight was waived off several seconds after the final bell had sounded.
After the conclusion of the bout, it was announced that the fight with Manhoef was now back on and would take place in Dublin when Bellator returns to Ireland on Sept. 23.