Yoel Romero will not be fighting for the interim UFC middleweight championship at UFC 221 on Saturday night.
Romero stepped on the scale at 188.3 pounds at Friday’s official UFC 221 weigh-ins in Perth, Australia.
After squaring off with Luke Rockhold and nearly going to blows with him, Romero was given two hours to get down to the 185-pound limit for their interim title fight. He tried, but just couldn’t do it.
Romero returned to the scale two hours later with a dour look on his face. It was warranted, as the scale read 187.7 pounds.
If Rockhold wins the fight, he becomes the new interim UFC middleweight champion of the world. If Romero wins? Well, he wins.
Romero has no opportunity to win an interim version of the belt, and having missed weight, it could put him on shaky ground even if he wins the fight in Perth.
UFC president Dana White later told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto via text message, however, “Romero took this fight on short notice when Whittaker fell out and he didn’t get a full camp. I appreciate him stepping up and taking the fight. If wins, he doesn’t get the belt, if Rockhold wins, he’s the interim champ.”
Dana White, via text, on UFC 221: “Romero took this fight on short notice when Whittaker fell out and he didn’t get a full camp. I appreciate him stepping up and taking the fight. If wins he doesn’t get the belt, if Rockhold wins he’s the interim champ”
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 10, 2018
The UFC 221 main event was originally supposed to shine the spotlight on Whittaker, who was slated to put his belt on the line for the first time by squaring off with Rockhold. Unfortunately, injury and severe illness sidelined the champ. Now on the mend, it sounds as if Whittaker won’t be on the sidelines much longer.
(Courtesy of Submission Radio)