How deep is Saturday’s UFC 225 card at the United Center in Chicago?
A former light-heavyweight champion (Rashad Evans), a former title challenger and present No. 1 flyweight competition (Joseph Benavidez) plus a sure-to-be exciting lightweight scrap between hometown underdog Clay Guida and also Charles’Can Bronx’ Oliveira are buried on the FightPass prelims.
There were assumed to be just two title fights, including the main event between Yoel Romero and middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. But, Romero missed weight by only 0.2 pounds when he tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds.
For title fights, the allowance is not granted. Romero’s first weigh-in was 186 pounds. He was given two extra hours to lose one pound. In accordance with tweets from MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the head of the Illinois Athletic Commission overruled a physician on the scene and forced Romero to quit cutting weight hour into the two-hour time period.
That is when he moved to the scale and came up 0.2 pounds short. His camp was allegedly mad and felt if awarded the other hour that he was presumed to be allowed, Romero would’ve struck his mark. He affirmed that in his interview with Joe Rogan in the weigh-ins that were early Friday night. “I really don’t why the Commission decided not to give me the two hours,” Romero said.
Whittaker still wished to fight and was not interested in putting weight restrictions on Romero for Saturday (like we saw with Darren Till vs.’Wonderboy’ Thompson in Liverpool two weeks ago). The most important event will still take place, although Whittaker’s strap won’t be online.
Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was a -220 favorite for most of this week. As of Friday night, the amount was up to the -250/260 range. Romero was the +210 underdog (risk $100 to win $210). The total was 4.5 rounds (‘below’ -165,’over’ +145).
Whittaker has won eight successive fights since losing by first-round knockout to Thompson in 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 previous seven conflicts of Whittaker, he engaged in three Fights of the evening and has garnered three Performance of the Night bonuses.
Whittaker won the interim middleweight belt by beating Romero by unanimous decision (48-47 across) at UFC 213 at Las Vegas last July. He became the undisputed champ when Georges St. Pierre relinquished the title because of an illness.
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