How deep is the UFC 225 card in the United Center in Chicago of Saturday?
A former light-heavyweight champion (Rashad Evans), a former title challenger and current No. 1 flyweight competition (Joseph Benavidez) and a sure-to-be exciting lightweight garbage between hometown underdog Clay Guida and Charles’Do Bronx’ Oliveira are buried on the FightPass prelims.
There were supposed to be two title fights, including the most important event between Yoel Romero and middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. But, Romero missed weight by merely 0.2 pounds when he tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds.
For title fights, the one-pound allowance isn’t granted. Romero’s first weigh-in was 186 lbs. He was then given two extra hours to shed 1 pound. According to tweets from MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the head of the Illinois Athletic Commission overruled a doctor on the scene and compelled Romero to quit cutting weight hour to the two-hour time frame.
That is when he moved into the scale and came up 0.2 pounds short. His camp was reportedly upset and felt if awarded another hour he was supposed to be allowed, Romero would have hit his mark. He affirmed this in his interview with Joe Rogan in the weigh-ins that were ceremonial early Friday night. “I really don’t why the Commission chose not to give me the two hours,” Romero said.
Whittaker still wanted to fight and wasn’t interested in putting weight restrictions on Romero for Saturday (like we saw with Darren Till vs.’Wonderboy’ Thompson in Liverpool two weeks back ). The main event will still take place, though Whittaker’s strap will not be online.
Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was a -220 favored for most of this 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 fights since losing by first-round knockout to Thompson at UFC 170. His only defeat in the Octagon came against Court McGee by split decision in August of 2013. The 27-year-old New Zealander is 7-0 since moving upward from welterweight into the 185-pound loop. In Whittaker seven conflicts, he participated in 3 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) in UFC 213 at Las Vegas last July. He became the undisputed champ when Georges St. Pierre relinquished the title because of an illness.
Read more: attworldnews.com