How deep is Saturday’s UFC 225 card in the United Center in Chicago?
A former light-heavyweight champion (Rashad Evans), a former title challenger and current No. 1 flyweight competition (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 just two title fights, including the main event between Yoel Romero and middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. However, Romero shed weight by merely 0.2 pounds when he tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds.
For title conflicts, the allowance isn’t granted. The initial 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 mind of the Illinois Athletic Commission overruled a physician on the scene and forced Romero to quit cutting weight hour to the two-hour time period.
That is when he moved to 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 granted, Romero would have hit his mark. He confirmed that in his interview with Joe Rogan in the weigh-ins that were ceremonial early Friday. “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 placing weight limitations on Romero for Saturday (like we saw with Darren Till vs.’Wonderboy’ Thompson in Liverpool two weeks ago). The most important event will still take place, although Whittaker’s strap won’t be on the line.
Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was a -220 favored for most of the week. As of early Friday night, the amount was up into the -250/260 range. Romero was the +210 underdog (risk $100 to win $210). The total was 4.5 rounds (‘under’ -165,’over’ +145).
Whittaker has won eight successive fights since losing by first-round knockout to Thompson at UFC 170. His only other defeat in the Octagon came by split decision in August of 2013 from Court McGee. The 27-year-old New Zealander is 7-0 since moving upward from welterweight into the 185-pound loop. In the previous seven fights of Whittaker, 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 due to an illness.