Yoel Romero to replace middleweight champ Robert Whittaker at UFC 221

14 Enero, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Robert Whittaker out of UFC 221 Yoel Romero to fight Luke Rockhold for interim belt

The UFC announced its middleweight champion will not be competing at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, after being ruled medically unable to compete. This fight at UFC 221 will be the second interim title in that division in the a year ago.

UFC 221 was set up perfectly for newly-crowned middleweight champion Robert Whittaker to make the first defense of his belt in his home country. I've been ruled medically unable to compete and wont be able to defend on home soil. The new main event at UFC 221 will still have championship gold resting in the balance as Rockhold vs. Romero will fight for an interim strap with the victor facing Whittaker in a unification bout later in 2018. The bout was going to headline UFC 221 inside Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. While Whittaker vs. Rockhold was a compelling fight, the event features no other worldwide draws outside fan-favorite heavyweight Mark Hunt, who is set to face the unheralded Curtis Blaydes. The victor will meet Whittaker in a title unification bout.

The 27-year-old became the first Australian-based champion in UFC history, however will now be replaced by Yoel Romero who will take on Luke Rockhold for an interim 185-pound championship.

UFC Fight Night in Orlando is scheduled for February 24, with the first fights at 3:30 p.m. and the main events on the Fox network (WOFL-35 locally) beginning at 8 p.m.

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Meanwhile, Rockhold (16-3) is coming off a September submission win over Branch. Their meeting had been declared an interim title fight due to a lack of championship activity in the division and amidst confusion surrounding Bisping's on again, off again match-up with St-Pierre.

Prior to that loss, Romero had won eight in a row, including six by knockout.

Before that, Rockhold had amassed five victories in a row over key 185lb players like Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida and Bisping.

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