While most of us slept, all hell was breaking loose. Some of you may have been up to see that Yoel Romero initially missed weight, stepping to the scale at 188 pounds for his 185 pound interim title fight with Luke Rockhold. Since Australia didn’t perform the normal early morning weigh-ins, the evening ceremonial weigh-ins were the first time the fighters would be stepping on the scale. Romero would have two hours to be on weight or it would put the fight in jeopardy. His second and last attempt late last night wasn’t much better than the first. He weighed in at 187.7 pounds and chaos reigned.
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionAus) February 10, 2018
This immediately meant that Yoel Romero could not win the interim title if he beat Luke Rockhold, but Rockhold could win the interim title for beating Romero. Either way, if the interim title seemed pointless before, this scenario exposed it for everyone. Why? Since it is a main event, the fight is going to be five rounds anyway and whoever wins – regardless of an interim belt – moves on to fight Robert Whittaker for the undisputed middleweight title. However, that wasn’t the problem last night. The problem was if the fight was even going to happen at all.
Per Rockhold’s team, discussions ongoing now under these new circumstances. What a mess.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 10, 2018
After negotiations at the arena didn’t get finalized, all parties took a break to go back to the hotel to continue. No deal yet to get this fight done.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 10, 2018
— Chris Taylor (@CTaylor_96) February 10, 2018
For hours, we all waited to see if negotiations would be finalized between Luke Rockhold and the UFC. Finally, at nearly 2AM Eastern time, we got the word that Rockhold would still fight Yoel Romero in the main event. Not only does he receive a percentage of Romero’s purse, but it’s safe to say he probably renegotiated his contract due to stepping up and saving UFC 221 twice since this whole thing kicked off with Robert Whittaker forced to pull out. All of this just serves up more drama to a highly hyped middleweight scrap that’s been a long time in the making.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/10/2018.