UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker didn’t need to fight Yoel Romero this past Saturday (June 9, 2018) in the main event of UFC 225 on pay-per-view (PPV) – but he did it anyway.
Romero came in .2 pounds overweight for the then-scheduled middleweight championship match-up. As a result, the fight could not be for the 185-pound title and the fight was kept on the card as the main event, but as a five round non-title fight instead.
In the lead-up to the fight Whittaker noted that should Romero miss weight for their meeting, as he did against Luke Rockhold on short-notice in February, he would not be stepping into the Octagon against the Cuban.
Shortly thereafter, Whittaker changed his tune saying that he didn’t make the long trip all the way from Australia not to fight. The fight continued on and Whittaker and Romero put on an absolute classic. The result could’ve gone either way on the judges’ scorecards, but Whittaker wound up taking a split decision win when it was all said and done.
Recently appearing on The MMA Hour, Whittaker talked about the possibility of a rubber match with Romero – a term UFC commentator Joe Rogan blindsided Whittaker with in his post-fight interview – but doesn’t see the need for it at the moment (via MMA Mania):
“When Rogan asked me in the Octagon the other night, he said rubber match and for one, I have never heard of the term rubber match so he caught me off guard there,” proclaimed Whittaker.
“Second, I had just beat the boogeyman of the division twice back-to-back. I don’t think it’s how the division, UFC conducts business to get the champion to fight one guy, who on both occasions doesn’t make weight for a championship fight, back-to-back-to-back. Like, am I going to fight Yoel Romero forever?”
Do you think a third fight between Whittaker and Romero is needed? Let us know in the comments!