Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was supposed to figh Rockhold (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in the pay-per-view headliner at Perth Arena in Australia but was forced to pull out of the fight due to injury/illness concerns. That allowed Romero (13-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) to step in as a replacement and win the fight by third-round knockout.
Although Romero cost himself the interim UFC middleweight title by missing weight for the fight, he’ll apparently get a title shot against Whittaker, who is the only man to beat him under the UFC banner.
Whittaker defeated Romero by unanimous decision at UFC 213 this past July. Rockhold would’ve been a new opponent, but he said even ahead of UFC 221 that he wanted “The Solider of God” to come out victorious and set up a rematch.
“I want Romero to win because there’s something about his crazy that I like,” Whittaker said on “The Halfcast Podcast” prior to UFC 221. “He’s such a nice bloke – but seriously crazy. I just like him.”
Once Romero got the job done at UFC 221, Whittaker took to social media and offered not only congratulations, but did it in Romero’s native tongue (via Twitter):
“Congratulations. A big fight. Well deserved win. Hugs”
Whittaker did not attend UFC 221 in person, and a timeline for his return to the octagon remains unknown. Despite an initial scare that Romero had broken a leg against Rockhold, doctors ultimately determined he didn’t suffer a break.
According to Romero’s manager, Malki Kawa, there’s a hope for the rematch with Whittaker to take place in the summer (via Twitter):
- Thanks to Yoel Romero's hellacious left hand, middleweight is right back where it started
- Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Yoel Romero and UFC 221's other winning fighters?
- Yoel Romero thinks he suffered broken leg in UFC 221 victory over Luke Rockhold
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Champ Robert Whittaker got his wish when 'seriously crazy' Yoel Romero won at UFC 221