Robert Whittaker is tired of fighters being rewarded for not making weight.
That’s the message from the reigning UFC middleweight champion as he prepares for a rematch against Yoel Romero at UFC 225 in Chicago in June.
To earn a rematch with Whittaker after falling to him last July, Romero had to defeat former champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 221, which he did in spectacular fashion by third round knockout. Unfortunately, Romero also failed to make weight, which eliminated him from winning an interim title in the fight with Rockhold.
Now Whittaker is issuing a warning to Romero that he needs to hit the middleweight limit at 185 pounds or less or he’ll be going back home without a fight under his belt.
“Nah, no way. Like, why would you?” Whittaker said to Submission Radio about facing Romero if he missed weight. “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 Romero did – It was like 86 kilos or something like that – then why don’t I rock up at 95 (kgs)? 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.”
Now prior to his fight at UFC 221, Romero had never missed weight previously so he’s never had a problem hitting the mark at middleweight but one time is still to many according to Whittaker.
As far as his expectations for the fight, Whittaker already defeated Romero in a five round battle last year and he hopes to top that performance in the rematch at UFC 225.
“I hope and I pray that he fights me like he fought Rockhold, because like think about it, a stationary target in front of me? Yeah, all right,” Whittaker said.
“I think I stop him in the third, but let’s see”