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Yoel Romero misses weight, but Whittaker fight goes ahead at UFC 225

Cuban powerhouse fails to hit 185lbs after two attempts at the scale ahead of UFC 225 in Chicago

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Per Haljestam

Yoel Romero’s middleweight main event bout with UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225 will go ahead as planned, but the Australian’s world title won’t be on the line.

That’s because Cuban contender Romero was the centre of more weigh-in drama in Chicago as he twice failed to make the 185lb middleweight limit for his scheduled world championship bout with Whittaker.

Twenty-five of the 26 fighters scheduled for action in the Windy City on Saturday night successfully made weight for their respective bouts.

But it was Romero who made the headlines at the early-morning weigh-ins, as he first came in one pound overweight, at 186lbs, at his first attempt, but was allowed an additional two hours to lose the remaining pound.

But when Romero returned to the scale around an hour later he weighed 185.2lbs, before leaving in what looked like considerable discomfort.

The events of Romero’s failed weigh-in attempts put his main event bout with Australian world champion Whittaker in serious doubt. But at the ceremonial weigh-ins it was finally confirmed that the pair would still meet in the night’s main event, albeit in a non-title fight.

Romero has form when it comes to missing weight for championship fights. He came in 2.7lb over for his scheduled interim title bout with Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in February.

Romero won that fight by knockout to set up his world title rematch with Whittaker, but now his shot at UFC gold has, for the second time in successive fights, slipped through his fingers after issues on the scale.

After the ceremonial weigh-ins, Romero remained adamant that he wanted to fight for the belt, as he felt the issue over the weigh-ins was down to the Illinois commission, not him.

The Cuban claimed that commission officials forced him to step on the scale halfway through his two-hour window, rather than giving him the full time to lose the remaining pound. And when he came in at 185.2lbs, that nixed his shot at the gold.

But with Romero not making championship weight at any point during the weigh-in process, it seems unlikely that the decision to downgrade his bout with Whittaker to a non-title fight will be overturned.

UFC 225: Official Weigh-In Results

Main Card

Robert Whittaker (185) vs Yoel Romero (185.2*) – UFC middleweight title
Rafael dos Anjos (169) vs Colby Covington (169) – UFC interim welterweight title
Holly Holm (146) vs Megan Anderson (146) – women’s featherweight bout
Andrei Arlovski (249) vs Tai Tuivasa (261) – heavyweight bout
CM Punk (169) vs Mike Jackson (170.5) – welterweight bout

Preliminary Card

Alistair Overeem (244) vs Curtis Blaydes (254) – heavyweight bout
Claudia Gadelha (116) vs Carla Esparza (116) – women’s strawweight bout
Ricardo Lamas (145) vs Mirsad Bektic (146) – featherweight bout
Rashad Coulter (247) vs Chris De La Rocha (261) – heavyweight bout

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

Rashad Evans (205) vs Anthony Smith (206) – light-heavyweight bout
Joseph Benavidez (125.5) vs Sergio Pettis (126) – flyweight bout
Clay Guida (154) vs Charles Oliveira (155) – lightweight bout
Mike Santiago (145) vs Dan Ige (146) – featherweight bout

*Romero missed weight. Bout will go ahead as a non-title contest.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Olympic Games, UFC world title fights, The Grand National and The FA Cup Final.

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