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. The Australian won his eighth consecutive fight, earning the victory 48-47 on all three judges’ scorecards at T-Mobile Arena.

“It’s a moment I’ve always dreamed of,” Whittaker said. “My knee was definitely hurt. I injured it in camp, and Romero’s kick set it back weeks. I know that Romero will capitalize on any weakness he sees, so I had to play it off. That’s just what champions are made of.”

Main Card (10pm EST., Pay-Per-View)

#3 Robert Whittaker def. #1 Yoel Romero by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) to win the UFC Interim Middleweight Title

Curtis Blaydes def. #15 Daniel Omielanczuk by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

#3 Alistair Overeem def. #1 Fabricio Werdum by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

#6 (FW) Anthony Pettis def. Jim Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

#15 Rob Font def. Douglas Silva De Andrade by submission via guillotine choke (4:36, R2)

Preliminary Card (8pm EST., Fox Sports 1)

#14 Aleksei Oleinik def. #9 Travis Browne by submission via rear naked choke (3:44, R2)

Chad Laprise def. Brian Camozzi by TKO via strikes (1:27, R3)

Thiago Santos def. Gerald Meerschaert by TKO via strikes (2:04, R2)

Belal Muhammad def. Jordan Mein by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Preliminary Card (7pm EST., UFC Fight Pass)

Cody Stamann def. Terrion Ware by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Trevin Giles def. James Bochnovic by KO via strikes (2:54, R2)