Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero II is going ahead after all

Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero II is going ahead after all

The UFC middleweight belt was not up for grabs but Robert Whittaker still did the job against Yoel Romero in Chicago on Sunday (NZT). Whittaker has now won nine bouts in a row.

The biggest story heading into the UFC 225 middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero was whether the latter would be able to make the championship weight of 185 pounds. Romero uncharacteristically held his hands up in guard for the majority of the round, content to sit back and let Whittaker bring the fight to him, which the champion did.

Romero (13-2), meanwhile, was sharp in his last outing on February 10, knocking out former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold with a crushing left hand.

Whittaker controlled the first two rounds and shaded the fourth, but was clearly hurt in both the third and fifth. Since Romero missed weight and was ineligible to win the title, an immediate rubber match seems likely. His run also featured six knockout victories and four bonuses, including the Performance of the Night following his third-round KO of former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman that paid out on plus-175 odds at UFC 205.

Two judges scored the fight 48-47 to the Australian and their colleague had Romero winning by the same total. Romero swarmed and relentlessly punched Whittaker, who was on all-fours, just trying to survive.

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Smith finally made somewhat of an impact on the game, scoring 13 on 3-of-10 shooting from distance. According to anyone who can do math, ABC has won the night yet again with the NBA Finals.

And because it wasn't a title fight, the UFC should be extra grateful that Whittaker ended up beating Romero.

This card featured five current and former UFC champions in front of a sold-out United Center crowd.

All of that marred one of the best fights of the year, a scintillating five-round bout that started off slowly and finished with blood and frenzy. Dos Anjos (28-9) has been superb in his three fights since moving up from the lightweight division.

In his second pro fight, former WWE star CM Punk, a Chicago native, had the crowd chanting his name in the first round, but Punk was unable to show any sense of force in the cage against Mike Jackson (1-1).

Holly Holm (-210) is favored against UFC debutante Megan Anderson (+180) in what amounts to a women's featherweight title eliminator. And no fighter has ever missed weight for two title fights.

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