How Heavy is Saturday’s UFC 225 card in the United Center in Chicago?
A former light-heavyweight champion (Rashad Evans), a former title challenger and present No. 1 flyweight contender (Joseph Benavidez) plus a sure-to-be exciting lightweight scrap between hometown underdog Clay Guida and Charles’Can Bronx‘ Oliveira are buried on the FightPass prelims.
There were supposed to be just two title fights, including the main event between Yoel Romero and middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. However, Romero missed weight by only 0.2 pounds when he tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds.
For title conflicts, the allowance is not granted. Romero’s first weigh-in was 186 lbs. He was given two hours to lose 1 pound. In accordance with tweets from MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the head of the Illinois Athletic Commission overruled a doctor about the scene and forced Romero to stop cutting weight one hour into the two-hour time period.
That’s when he went into the scale and came up 0.2 pounds short. His camp was allegedly mad and felt if awarded another hour he had been presumed to be allowed, Romero would have hit his mark. He affirmed this in his interview with Joe Rogan in the weigh-ins early Friday. „I don’t why the Commission chose not to give me the 2 hours,“ Romero said.
Whittaker still wished to fight and wasn’t interested in putting weight limitations on Romero for Saturday (such as we saw with Darren Till vs.’Wonderboy‘ Thompson in Liverpool two weeks ago). The main event will still occur, although Whittaker’s strap will not be on the line.
Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was a -220 favorite for most of the week. As of early Friday 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 (‚under‘ -165,’over‘ +145).
Whittaker has won eight consecutive fights since losing by first-round knockout to Thompson at UFC 170. His only other defeat in the Octagon came from Court McGee by split decision in August of 2013. The 27-year-old New Zealander is 7-0 since moving up from welterweight to the 185-pound loop. In the past seven fights of Whittaker, he has garnered three Performance of the Night bonuses and participated in three Fights of the evening.
Whittaker won the interim middleweight belt by beating Romero by unanimous decision (48-47 across) in UFC 213 in Las Vegas last July. He became the undisputed champ when Georges St. Pierre relinquished the title due to an illness.
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