There will be a men’s title fight at UFC 213. Just not the one originally planned.
Additionally, the originally planned bantamweight title fight between champion Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw is officially off due to a back injury suffered by Garbrandt. MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani confirmed a Tuesday report on both items by ESPN.
The Romero-Whittaker interim title fight is due to a knee injury suffered by champion Michael Bisping. It will be the evening’s co-main event, with the women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Valentina Shevchenko as the evening’s headliner.
Romero (12-1) has won eight consecutive fights, with three of his past four wins coming via knockout. His most recent win was a brutal flying knee knockout of former champion Chris Weidman at UFC 205.
Whittaker carries an 18-4 record with 14 finishes into the bout. The Sydney, Australia resident has won seven in a row, with his last victory a divisional paradigm-shifting finish of Ronaldo Souza at UFC on FOX 24.
According to ESPN, the UFC is hoping to put Dillashaw into an August bout with UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.