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Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero 2 to proceed as non-title fight following Romero’s UFC 225 weigh-in miss

robert whittaker
Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero 2 is on.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will indeed rematch Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 225, however his belt will not be on the line.

Whittaker and Romero have agreed to face off in a five-round, non-title fight at UFC 225 following Romero’s weigh-in miss Friday at UFC 225’s official weigh-ins. As per the terms of their agreement, Whittaker will receive 20 percent of Romero’s total purse. Unlike the recent case of Darren Till at UFC Liverpool, Romero will not be required to tip the scales below a specific weight Saturday prior to UFC 225.

“Rob doesn’t care about that,” Whittaker’s manager Titus Day told MMA Fighting regarding the weight cap. “He wants to fight Romero at his best so there can be no doubters.

“Rob is the consummate professional, mate, and so are his coaches. ... Two hours after the weigh-in, he was back to full fighting weight and feeling great. He’s left no stone unturned for this and wants to win.”

Romero missed weight by .2 pounds at UFC 225’s official weigh-ins Friday morning in Chicago. The 41-year-old Olympic silver medalist weighed in at 186 pounds on his first attempt, then tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds after being granted an extra two hours to cut weight by the Illinois State Athletic Commission. Romero weighed in with the aid of a towel both times.

The situation marked the second time in four months that Romero has failed to make the 185-pound limit for a championship fight. Romero previously weighed 187.7 pounds for his UFC 221 matchup against Luke Rockhold, which was supposed to be for the interim middleweight title. Romero ultimately defeated Rockhold via third-round knockout, but was ineligible to win the belt because of his miss on the scales.

Fighters in the UFC who miss weight then compete have largely been successful in 2018, winning seven out of eight times, including Romero’s victory over Rockhold.

UFC 225 takes place Saturday, June 9 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Whittaker previously defeated Romero via unanimous decision in July 2017 at UFC 213.

“Rob is here to finish Romero and show he’s the best in the world,” Day said. “Period.”

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