How deep is Saturday’s UFC 225 card at the United Center in Chicago?
A former light-heavyweight champion (Rashad Evans), a former title challenger and present No. 1 flyweight contender (Joseph Benavidez) plus a sure-to-be exciting lightweight scrap between hometown underdog Clay Guida and Charles’Do Bronx’ Oliveira are buried on the FightPass prelims.
There were assumed to be two name conflicts, including the most important event between middleweight champ Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. But, Romero missed weight by only 0.2 pounds when he tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds.
For title conflicts, the allowance is not granted. The first weigh-in of romero was 186 pounds. He was given two hours to shed 1 pound. In accordance with tweets from MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the head of the Illinois Athletic Commission overruled a physician on the scene and forced Romero to quit cutting weight one hour into the two-hour time period.
That’s when he went into the scale and came up 0.2 pounds brief. His camp was allegedly upset and felt if given the other hour he had been supposed to be allowed, Romero would’ve struck his mark. He affirmed that in his interview with Joe Rogan at the weigh-ins that were ceremonial early Friday night. “I don’t why the Commission chose to not give me the 2 hours,” Romero said.
Whittaker still wished to fight and was not interested in placing weight limitations on Romero for Saturday (such as we saw with Darren Till vs.’Wonderboy’ Thompson in Liverpool two weeks ago). The main event will still occur, though Whittaker’s strap will not be online.
Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was a -220 favorite for most of the week. Night, the number was up to the -250/260 range. Romero was the +210 underdog (risk $100 to win $210). The total was 4.5 rounds (‘below’ -165,’over’ +145).
Whittaker has won eight successive battles since dropping by first-round knockout to Thompson at UFC 170. His only defeat from the Octagon came by split decision in August of 2013 from Court McGee. The 27-year-old New Zealander is 7-0 since moving up from welterweight to the 185-pound loop. In Whittaker seven conflicts, he participated in three Fights of the Night and has garnered three Performance of the Night bonuses.
Whittaker won the interim middleweight belt by beating Romero by unanimous decision (48-47 across) at UFC 213 in Las Vegas last July. He became the undisputed champ when Georges St. Pierre relinquished the title due to an illness.
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