On Saturday night, in the headliner of an action-packed UFC 221 card, former Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero authored one of the finest victories of his incredible career thus far, knocking out former UFC and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold with a savage third-round volley. With this win, Romero positioned himself at the front of the middleweight contender line, and may well have earned himself a rematch with divisional ruler Robert Whittaker, who he lost a decision to back in July of 2016.
While some fans and pundits have argued that Romero shouldn’t be rewarded with a middleweight title shot on the basis of his UFC 221 weigh-in miss – the reason he wasn’t awarded the interim title for his defeat of Rockhold – UFC President Dana White confirmed post-fight that a Whittaker-Romero rematch is indeed the plan.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke it down in a post-fight Tweet.
Asked Dana White if plan is to have Yoel Romero fight Robert Whittaker next, despite the fact he didn’t win an interim title tonight.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 11, 2018
“Asked Dana White if plan is to have Yoel Romero fight Robert Whittaker next, despite the fact he didn’t win an interim title tonight,” Okamoto explained. “Answer: ‘Yes.'”
Prior to his July decision loss to Whittaker, Romero was on an impressive eight-fight streak, highlighted by triumphs over Brad Tavares, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and former champ Chris Weidman. He’s 13-2 overall.
Whittaker, meanwhile, is riding high on an impressive eight-fight streak of his own. This streak is highlighted by wins over Brad Tavares, Uriah Hall, Rafael Natal, Derek Brunson, Jacare Souza, and of course, Romero. He’s 19-4 overall.
Does a Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker rematch interest you? If so, who do you suspect comes out on top? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/11/2018.