How Heavy is the UFC 225 card in the United Center in Chicago of Saturday?
A former light-heavyweight winner (Rashad Evans), a former title challenger and current No. 1 flyweight contender (Joseph Benavidez) plus a sure-to-be exciting lightweight garbage between hometown underdog Clay Guida and Charles’Can Bronx’ Oliveira are buried on the FightPass prelims.
There were supposed to be just two name conflicts, including the main event between Yoel Romero and middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. But, Romero shed weight by merely 0.2 pounds when he tipped the scales at 185.2 pounds.
For title fights, the one-pound allowance isn’t granted. Romero was 186 lbs. He was subsequently given two additional hours to lose 1 pound. In accordance with tweets from MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the head of the Illinois Athletic Commission overruled a physician about the scene and forced Romero to quit cutting weight one hour to the two-hour time frame.
That’s when he moved to the scale and came up 0.2 pounds short. His camp was reportedly upset and felt if given another hour that he was supposed to be allowed, Romero would’ve hit his mark. He affirmed this in his interview with Joe Rogan at the weigh-ins early Friday. “I really don’t why the Commission chose to not give me the two hours,” Romero said.
Whittaker still wished to fight and wasn’t interested in putting weight limitations on Romero for Saturday (like we saw with Darren Till vs.’Wonderboy’ Thompson in Liverpool two weeks back ). The main 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 the week. As of early Friday night, the amount was up into the -250/260 range. Romero was the +210 underdog (risk $100 to win $210). The total has been 4.5 rounds (‘under’ -165,’over’ +145).
Whittaker has won eight successive fights since losing by first-round knockout to Thompson at UFC 170. His only defeat in the Octagon came by split decision in August of 2013 from Court McGee. The 27-year-old New Zealander is 7-0 since moving upward from welterweight to the 185-pound loop. In the previous seven conflicts of Whittaker, he engaged in 3 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) in UFC 213 in Las Vegas last July. He became the undisputed champ when Georges St. Pierre relinquished the name because of an illness.
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