Flashback to UFC 221 and it’s hard to forget the weigh-in drama that kept most of us up late into the night trying to find out what was going to happen. Yoel Romero missed weight and Luke Rockhold entered into negotiations with the UFC, until finally deciding to move forward with the bout. Robert Whittaker, who was supposed to fight Rockhold that night, recently spoke up to say he wouldn’t have taken the fight with Romero that night.
“Why would you [take that fight]? I don’t understand anyone who takes fights when their opponent doesn’t make weight. It’s like, if you rock up at 87 kilos, which is what [Yoel] Romero did – It was like 86 kilos or something like that – then why don’t I rock up at 95? What’s the difference? We’re both not making weight, we’re both not professional enough to do it, you know? And the weight cut is directly influential to the fight itself. I think not making weight is the most unprofessional thing you can do. It’s as bad as just not showing up for the fight itself. So, if you don’t make weight, I’m not fighting you. I’ll give the shot to someone else who can make the weight, who can do their freaking job.”
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) March 15, 2018
“I think it will be the exact same fight. Yoel can’t fight me any other way. The only thing that will be different is that I’ll be better. Doing my MCL four weeks before the fight obviously affected me, affected my training and affected my cardio. So yeah, I’m gonna be fitter and I’m not gonna have a bum knee. I’m gonna have, like you said, I felt him out, so I’m gonna work on certain things that I know is going to stump him. I don’t think he’s at a point where he can make drastic changes. I don’t think he can change anything that will really make an impact for this next fight. But that’s all my speculation, so who knows.” — Robert Whittaker speaking to Submission Radio.
Let’s hope that Yoel Romero makes weight when these two fight at UFC 225, but more than that, let’s hope nothing else stands in the way of this fight happening either. The rematch is equally as compelling as their first scrap but with even higher stakes. At Romero’s age, this could be his very last chance to win UFC gold. Although, Whittaker thinks that things will go the same way as their last encounter.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/22/2018.