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.
— UFC (@ufc) February 10, 2018
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:
Dana White, via text, on UFC 221: “Romero took this fight on short notice when Whittaker fell out and he didn’t get a full camp. I appreciate him stepping up and taking the fight. If wins he doesn’t get the belt, if Rockhold wins he’s the interim champ”
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 10, 2018
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?
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 10, 2018
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)
Should have be doing the salsa in the sauna. Some bullshit as usual
— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) February 10, 2018
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)