At UFC 225, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero fought to a contentious split decision, but the controversy wasn’t just about the outcome of the fight. Romero missed weight for the bout, coming in .2 pounds over the contracted limit. But despite the fact that the weight cut was clearly hard on him, Romero showed no ill effects inside the cage, dropping Whittaker and nearly finishing the fight on several occasions. Now, Whittaker wants in on whatever secrets Romero has to recover from bad weight cuts, because the middleweight champion says Romero’s recovery was “superhuman.”
“Whatever Romero’s rehydration program is, I would like to get on that because he looked huge,” Whittaker told GrangeTV recently. “He looked massive from the skeleton I saw the day before and him missing [weight] and looking like he was going to die, to him hopping back in that octagon, it was like two different guys. And taking head shots like, I hit him a lot and he was able to just walk through those shots.
“Whatever he’s hydrating on, I would like to know so that I can also hydrate on that because it turns you superhuman just about. When I was punching and kicking him, he felt like metal, like a dude made out of concrete. I was ridiculous. I fought him a year ago, and he didn’t feel like concrete.”
Romero has had a reputation as a physical and athletic freak dating all the way back to his wrestling career, but at the age of 41, most would expect the Olympic silver medalist to begin slowing down at some point. Instead, Romero has looked better than ever in recent bouts and, despite a hard weight cut and his advanced age, still walked through heavy shots from the champion. For Whittaker, there is only one viable explanation for how Romero could somehow be in even better shape for their rematch: magic.
“I’m pretty sure I hit hard,” Whittaker said. “You can ask all my other opponents if I hit hard. I’ve stopped dudes that don’t get stopped and - I don’t know. He’s a top caliber athlete but for him to come back the way he did and for him to feel so differently and perform so differently than he did a year ago - let’s not forget, I have fought him before, I have experienced his shots, I’ve experienced landing shots on him, I’ve fought him before. For him to make those changes physically and athletically in a year, at the age of 41, I’m leaving that down to nothing more than magic, honestly. I can’t see you jumping on a special diet filled with kale and good fruits and then performing like him.
“Everything I did was in the game plan and it worked successfully. The only thing we didn’t count on was one, breaking my right hand, and two, him being Robocop. You can’t account for that. He’s a tough dude and he took a lot of shots. I’ve hit guys much less than that and they don’t stay in the fight, and they’re all tough dudes.”
Whittaker and Romero have now fought each other for 50 minutes, producing two Fight of the Year candidates, and many fans are clamoring for a third tilt, especially given the controversial scoring in their most recent bout. But Whittaker isn’t too keen on the idea of having to face “Robocop” again after having two in the win column over him. The champion says he’s on to other things and that if Romero wants another crack at him, he’ll have to pull some more magic out of his hat.
“Why would I fight someone again after beating him twice?” Whittaker asked. “Surely the point has been made. And he didn’t make weight the second time. That’s not to say that if he works his way up and beats the top contenders again that I won’t have to fight him because my whole thing is that I have to fight the biggest dude, the dude who is cleaning out the division and fought his way up to the number one spot. But I’ve now beaten him twice. He’d have to do something special to get a third shot.”
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Nate’s alleged fight.
DWTNCS highlights from last week, ahead of this week’s episode.
TJ on DJ.
Rogan on Chael’s “beef” with him.
Kayla Harrison interview.
Looking at MMA upsets that almost were.
The MMA Hour. The new era begins with Luke interviewing Gastelum, Hardy, and Schaub.
Sound Off. Luke and Danny take calls and answer fan questions.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
I don’t have a platform DC? That just sounds dumb. Even after years of suspension I have just as much if not more of a platform than you. Every win you get goes on my resume, You know who you dream about at night. I’m sure your wife knows too— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 25, 2018
At first I thought you were trying to convince the fans I beat you because of performance enhancing drugs but now I’m pretty sure you have convinced yourself too. keep doing that— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 25, 2018
Good thing for you, the next time we fight I’ll be all cleaned up. Let’s see you dominate me this time since I cheated the first two— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 25, 2018
Good luck in your next fight, I’ve always wanted to be heavyweight champ... who’s your daddy?— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 25, 2018
STOP THE DAMN MATCH.
Jon, you’re a bitch! You’re one now always been one. Sit back and watch me be great, you steroid cheat. Let’s not talk about wives man. Come on, I’m sure with all the shit you’ve done I could get a conversation from your wife. I mean from your girlfriend ,baby mama?— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) June 25, 2018
There’s a special reason why @MikeChandlerMMA to @ufc is a bluff, it’s the same reason @danielweichel can transform his body in 20 days. #usada but that’s about to change. I’m requesting @Vada_Testing for my fight @BellatorMMA. Not even cheating will help that glass chin though ! pic.twitter.com/WqTsq9lAif— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) June 25, 2018
The jealousy is strong with this one....— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) June 25, 2018
How can anyone be jealous of a person who's nothing without cheating?Who has the most promotional push from @BellatorMMA and gets the worst ratings in the Spike+Paramount history? Who jumps teams all the time because he's despised everywhere? You're fake as a person and fighter. https://t.co/rWUjom0oLs— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) June 25, 2018
Either Chandler stays in Bellator or he goes to another promotion, he won't be anywhere near the UFC as long as they have USADA and random drug testing. He's nothing without his vitamins. Weichel seems to be on the same program. https://t.co/n7FfML2wdJ— Patricky Freire (@PatrickyPitbull) June 25, 2018
I‘m in for any sort of testing @PatricioPitbull everybody knows you‘re on roids, didn‘t think you‘d admit it yourself though ♂— Daniel Weichel (@danielweichel) June 25, 2018
How dumb can a single person be? Looks like not just your skills need polishing. If I ever used anything I wouldn't be asking for random drug testing. But you, you should start selling the magic water that gave you those results in 20 days, you'd be rich. https://t.co/gvkcHCJgoh— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) June 25, 2018
It‘s quite obvious that your bad conscience made you open your translator‘s mouth, believing that your request for random drug testing will not be granted...now nuff of your roid rage, get off the and please don‘t pull out last minute again— Daniel Weichel (@danielweichel) June 25, 2018
I don’t know what’s more embarassing: your tweets,being beaten by Macapa and having a robbery win or your nickname. You don’t even deserve this fight. You had a lucky moment,gave everything you had and it wasn’t enough,I sent u to hell.I’ll slaughter you now,you won’t do anything— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) June 25, 2018
Congrats to @SugaRashadEvans on a legendary career. We started training together back in 2006. He was part of the crew that helped me to fall in love with this game. Rashad has always been a great competitor, champion and ambassador of our sport. Wish you all the best. pic.twitter.com/2UBhWeB4BE— Brandon Gibson (@SixGunGibson) June 26, 2018
Picking a fight.
Well, I’m mighty disappointed in you @smilensam..as the “call out king” I expected to see a bout agreement with your name on it in no time for #UFCLincoln. Guess I’m not wiping that smile off after all I guess we move on...— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) June 25, 2018
@CoreyA_MMA...I’m assuming the chances of you coming on over to #UFCLincoln for a good ol Nebraska ass kickin are slim. Also assuming you’re one of those, “he’s not ranked high enough” or “he doesn’t deserve it” fellers.. que your excuses for turning me down in 3..2..1— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) June 25, 2018
Be careful, you mess around and turn down too many fights and end up losing you’re job buddy..— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) June 25, 2018
Short Fuse sounds like he might be hanging them up after his next one.
12 years ago I got my #UFC contract battling a tough @kendallgrovemma on the #tuf3 finale here I am 23 fights later (including the fights on the show) all most recovered from another major injury and looking to finish out possibly my last contract with an ETA of November 2018 wanna thank the @ufc for all the opportunity my family and all the great fans for the continued support!
DL keeping it real.
Mark Godbeer (13-4) vs. Luis Henrique (10-4, 1 NC); UFC Sao Paulo, Sept. 22.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2005: The quarterfinal round of the Pride middleweight grand prix took place with Ricardo Arona, Wanderlei Silva, Alistair Overeem, and Mauricio Rua all advancing. Rua’s win was particularly notable as his fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was considered by many to be the Fight of the Year for 2005.
2010: Fabricio Werdum became the first man to beat Fedor Emelianenko without controversy when he tapped “The Last Emperor” with a triangle choke at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum. That night, Cris Cyborg also defended her featherweight title against Jan Finney, scoring a second round TKO.
2011: At UFC on Versus 4, Cheick Kongo authored one of the most spectacular comebacks in UFC history, knocking out Pat Barry after Barry had him dead to rights. The knockout earned both KO of the Year and Comeback of the Year honors.
Hope y’all enjoyed the new MMA Hour. There will be an adjustment period, but we’re all pretty excited about where it’s going.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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