Watch Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero full fight video highlights from UFC 213’s main event above, courtesy of FOX Sports.
UFC 213: Romero vs. Whittaker took place July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Top middleweight contenders Yoel Romero (13-2) and Robert Whittaker (19-4) collided with the UFC interim middleweight title on the line in the night's main event, which aired live on pay-per-view. Catch the video highlights above.
For more on Romero vs. Whittaker, check out the live blog courtesy of MMAFighting.com's Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Big John McCarthy is the referee for this interim middleweight title fight. Romero couldn’t possibly look any more loose to start the bout. Both men try high kicks to no avail and the rest of the first minute is a feeling out process. Whittaker has his leg kicked out from under him but he’s back to standing. Whittaker lands a good jab while Romero lands a body kick. Now Whittaker is working a good jab and Yoel lands a front kick and then a hook kick. Romero lightning quick gets hold of a leg and takes Whittaker down who escapes back up quickly. Romero goes flying knee into a double leg but Whittaker has incredible takedown defense and stays upright but gets driven into the fence. Romero holds position and looks massive against Whittaker in the clinch. Joe Rogan postulates that Whittaker may have hurt his right leg in a scramble but his uses it to land a powerful front kick. Not a lot of action and in an exchange Romero drives a double but Whittaker uses a whizzer to get back upright. Decent exchange of kicks to end the round and Whittaker appears to be moving gingerly on his leg after all. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Romero.
Round 2: In his corner, Whittaker confirms that his left leg is hurt from a stepping side kick Romero landed in the round. Whittaker is trying to shake it out to start the round but he is definitely showing the effects now. But Whittaker is the one leading the fight here and throwing many kicks. Romero throws a flying superman punch. Then a jump knee to the body from Romero. Romero counters Whittaker coming forward with a beautiful double leg and now Romero has top control. Whittaker has a butterfly guard position but the leg injury prevents him from elevating Romero and he consents to guard and is trying to stall for a standup. Romero isn’t landing much but now he postures and attempts to pass. Whittaker bucks to sweep and Romero has his back but Whittaker gets to the fence. Romero lands a good knee to the body as Whittaker is shelled up defensively. Whittaker turns into a clinch but Romero drags him right back down. And Whittaker is right back up. After a prolonged clinch, McCarthy breaks them up and Whittaker lands a good left hand but his leg is starting to show as hirt. Romero ducks under a winging hook and reestablishes the clinch. Romero is not working hard in the clinch but explodes into an inside trip that takes Whittaker down. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Romero.
Round 3: Whittaker’s corner clearly feels they are down two rounds and tell their fighter he has to forget about his leg and work through it. Romero looks extremely casual to start the round and Whittaker comes out pressuring. McCarthy stops the bout to cut some stray tape off the gloves of Romero and the action is restarted quickly. Whittaker lands a good jump knee and shucks off a takedown and then lands a front kick as well. Whittaker clipped Romero with a left hand and he’s really pressing the action here and having his most success by far. Whittaker lands another good front kick and those could pay dividends later. Romero is all defense right now but lands a big counter left hand. Whittaker easily defends a bad shot from Romero and he’s in the driver seat now, defending another takedown attempt. Romero has done next to nothing this round and Whittaker lands a good knee. Romero’s defense has actually been quite good in this fight and Whittaker is missing a lot though he’s clearly winning this round. Romero appears to have given up on this round and is just circling away as Whittaker lands a good left at the buzzer. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 4: No talk of the leg in Whittaker’s corner this time. It’s all tactical as Whittaker’s corner feels they have the momentum and it’s hard to argue. Romero is pressuring to start the round and Whittaker lands an excellent body kick but Romero gets a body lock. Whittaker tries to hit a switch but fails and runs to the cage for safety with Romero hanging on and landing some knees. Romero tries to kick a leg out of Whittaker but Whittaker is stalwart defensively and eventually gets up and lands a knee to break. Whittaker’s knee buckles as he is bouncing around and Romero seems to be looking at Whittaker’s legs now. He shoots a double which Whittaker avoids but Whittaker is on the retreat now. Romero lands a counter jumping knee that lands but Whittaker eats it. Whittaker lands a right high kick to left straight combination and then a front kick to the body that has Romero backing up. Romero lands a chopping right hand but he’s not landing enough and Whittaker is starting to take back the round. Whittaker stuffs a single leg attempt and lands a huge uppercut as Romero is in a no-man’s land after a failed takedown. What was a close round has now become Whittaker’s and Romero is gonna need a hell of a fifth to win this fight. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 5: Romero looks extremely tired and his team is telling him he needs to win the fifth round. Whittaker’s team tells their fighter to not let Romero take him down. Both corners agree the fifth will decide the fight and Whittaker lands a good combination to start but Romero lands a left hand. Whittaker his a strong lab counter to a kick and Romero ducks under a salty high kick. Whittaker lands a huge knee and Romero looks hurt for a minute but fires back and lands, backing Whittaker off. Whittaker lands a right hand and Romero is cut but he’s pushing and firing haymakers back. Romero lands a high kick but both men look exhausted now. Whittaker is attacking the body and jumps for a knee but falls down and Romero is too tired to take advantage. Romero is still pressing the action though and he lands a huge left hand. the last 2:30 could decide the bout as both men are spent. A good exchange with Romero landing a good right hand. Whittaker is all about the body kicks now and Romero is trying to counter with big right hands. Romero falls over after being off balance and Whittaker jumps onto him to top position. Romero looks too tired to get up and a slip may end up deciding this fight. Romero tries to get up but Whittaker moves to mount and Romero retains half-guard. Whittaker lands huge elbows that opens cut but may be to the back of the head. Romero is stuck under Whittaker as the bell ends the fight. MMA Fighting scores the bout 10-9 Whittaker and 48-47 Whittaker total.
Official Result: Robert Whittaker defeats Yoel Romero by unanimous decision (48-74, 48-47, 48-47) to become the new interim UFC middleweight champion.