Yoel Romero Loses 30-Percent of Purse; Can’t Win UFC Title

Yoel Romero accepted the UFC 221 main event opposite Luke Rockhold on short notice. It cost him in the pocketbook, as well as on the scale. 

Rockhold was initially slated to challenge UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in the UFC 221 main event, but the plan shifted when Whittaker had to withdraw due to illness and injury. 

Yoel Romero vs Luke Rockhold UFC 221 weigh inRomero agreed to step in for Whittaker, facing Rockhold for an interim version of the middleweight title. The late acceptance of the bout gave him less than optimal time to get his weight down. When Romero stepped on the scale on Friday, he weighed 188.3 pounds. 

He was given two hours to make weight. Romero hit the sauna, but upon returning to the scale, he was only able to lower his weight to 187.7 pounds.

Following negotiations between the UFC and Rockhold and Romero’s camps, the fight remained intact with Romero agreeing to pay 30-percent of his fight purse to Rockhold.

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The bout is still an interim title fight for Rockhold, but not for Romero. Should Rockhold win, he will become the interim UFC middleweight champion, locked into a challenge of Whittaker. Romero has no such option.