UFC 225 main event in tatters as Yoel Romero misses weight... twice

UFC 225 main event in tatters as Yoel Romero misses weight... twice

Outside of Francis Ngannou, Romero is probably the scariest fighter on the UFC roster.

Now fully healthy, Whittaker will be aiming to lift his professional MMA record to 20-4 with a second straight victory over Romero, the No. 1 contender in the UFC middleweight division.

Romero needed to strip down naked on his first weigh-in attempt but tipped the scales at 186lbs [one pound over]. Whittaker wasn't going away quietly, however, as the two unleashed on each other with too many shots to count throughout the round, each landing several that, by rights, should have put the other away many times over.

Two judges scored the fight 48-47 to the Australian and their colleague had Romero winning by the same total. Yes, he is older now, but he's an experienced athlete when it comes to cutting weight. In the fifth, Romero controlled the round, bring down Whittaker with a series of left hands, then pounded with a right hand.

Whittaker won the fight by split decision, beating Romero for the second time in as many outings. Fortunately for Romero, his corner was able to relieve some of the swelling between rounds. Throughout his career, Romero has displayed a penchant for acting lackadaisical and weird in the first two rounds of his fights before exploding into a terrifying mauling machine in the third. Nobody should be surprised that it happened again here; Romero sprang to life and hurt Whittaker badly, almost finishing him just as he did Rockhold earlier this year.

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Romero opened the fifth frame with another one-two that rocked Whittaker, but the champion didn't go down. The oblique kicks continued from Whittaker while Romero looked for opportunities to explode. It happened again Saturday, as he suffered an injured right hand early in the fight.

Initially, Romero came in at 186 pounds.

What's next for Whittaker is hard to say, though he admitted that Romero had him rocked near the end of the fight.

It was a narrow escape from Whittaker but the champion demonstrated that he possessed the mettle to be world champion.

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