UFC middleweight title contender Yoel Romero had a bit of a howler in Australia earlier today. After initially missing weight by three whole pounds for his interim title fight with Luke Rockhold, ‘Soldier of God’ missed on the second attempt…

After his eight-fighting winning streak was brought to an end by Robert Whittaker at UFC 213, Yoel Romero was given another shot at UFC gold this weekend. Having smashed through two former middleweight champs already, Romero will face his third in Australia.

Demolishing Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida with vicious third-round KO’s,  Romero’s stock clearly didn’t drop all that much with the Whittaker loss. Helped by the complete mess at the top of the division, ‘Soldier of God’s’ ranking held strong coming into this weekend.

Set to face Luke Rockhold in the main event of Perth, Australia’s UFC 221, Romero hit the scales but was unable to make weight after two attempts.

Heated Exchange After The Weigh-Ins

It was inevitable that Romero would not be fighting for the junior belt after missing by a three-pound margin. The title will only be on the line for ‘Rocky,’ but no doubt the winner will be fighting Whittaker for the full belt, regardless of interim belts or whatnot.

It’s certainly an unfortunate look for the Cuban former Olympic wrestler, but it could be worse. After all, ‘Soldier of God’ did step in on late notice after champion ‘Bobby Knuckles’ withdrew, thus not getting a full camp.

UFC president Dana White did not seem too moved by the mishap, as per Brett Okamoto on Twitter:

So Romero’s misfortune is buffered by the fact that interim titles really man jack sh*t. It’s essentially a way to earmark a number one contender while allowing the promotion to promote a ‘title fight.’

Romero’s past with the UFC has been somewhat questionable, but hey, the show must gon on regardless, right?

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

• Luke Rockhold (185) vs. Yoel Romero (187.7) – for interim middleweight title
• Curtis Blaydes (255.5) vs. Mark Hunt (265)
• Cyril Asker (243.5) vs. Tai Tuivasa (263.5)
• Li Jingliang (170) vs. Jake Matthews (170.5)
• Tyson Pedro (205) vs. Saparbek Safarov (204.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

• Damien Brown (156) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (156)
• Israel Adesanya (183) vs. Rob Wilkinson (186)
• Jeremy Kennedy (145) vs. Alex Volkanovski (145.5)
• Jussier Formiga (126.15) vs. Ben Nguyen (125.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

• Mizuto Hirota (156) vs. Ross Pearson (156)
• Teruto Ishihara (135.5) vs. Jose Quinonez (135)
• Daichi Abe (170.5) vs. Luke Jumeau (170.5)

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