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Robert Whittaker defends Middleweight Title against Yoel Romero

Mon, Jun 11, 10:54am by Staff Writer

Robert Whittaker retained his middleweight title on Sunday with another win against Yoel Romero.

Whittaker claimed the UFC’s interim middleweight championship less than a year ago against Romero with an injured knee and suffered through a hand complaint during his fight with Romero on Sunday.

The Australian edged Romero in a split decision at UFC 225 at the United Center in Chicago.

Two judges scored the contest 48-47 in favour of Whittaker, while a third had it 48-47 for Romero.

UFC 213 last July was the stage where the two first met, with Whittaker winning via unanimous decision, despite tearing the medial cruciate ligament in his left knee in the opening round.

There was pre-fight drama ahead of UFC 225, with Romero missing the weight cut-off by two-tenths of a pound.

Despite the fight technically not being for Whittaker’s title, had he won the bout, the division would have been in a unique position, with the titleholder losing and champion losing his most recent fight.

The veteran Romero fought conservatively in the opening stages, before dropping Whittaker with a right hand in the third round.

That came after Whittaker led the early exchanges, with the 41-year-old Romero reminding his opponent that he had plenty to give.

Romero once again got the better of his younger opponent in the fifth round with a left-hander, but Whittaker responded.

There was very little in the contest, with the Cuban adamant that he won the fight, but he graciously accepted the decision.

The former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling for Cuba has missed his weight for his past two bouts, leading to suggestions from UFC president Dana White that he move up a weight division to the 205-pound class.

Whittaker has stretched his unbeaten run in the octagon to nine fights.

UFC 225 was oddly pitted against the Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn bout in Las Vegas, with Horn’s camp suggesting that the scheduling blunder could cost him upwards of seven figures.

The next UFC event takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday, with the main event between Donald Cerrone (33-9-0) and Leon Edwards (15-3-0) grabbing all the attention.

Edwards is favoured to win the bout at $1.59 at Sportsbet, with Cerrone a $2.38 underdog.

Other events on the card include Tyson Pedro (7-1-0) taking on Ovince Saint Preux (22-11-0) at 2.30am AEST.

Pedro is a $1.65 favourite in the early markets, with Preux priced at $2.25.

UFC Fight Night 132 Odds – Sportsbet 

Tyson Pedro $1.65 Ovince Saint Preux $2.25

Jessica-Rose Clark $1.64 Jessica Eye $2.27

Donald Cerrone $2.38 Leon Edwards $1.59

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