It looks like Yoel Romero will challenge Robert Whittaker for the official middleweight title at UFC 225.
A middleweight championship rematch between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero still hasn’t been officially announced, but it’s looking like the two middleweights will headline the upcoming UFC 225 pay-per-view on June 9.
That’s according to Romero, who told Joe Rogan on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience that fans should “wait until June 9th” when asked about his inevitable rematch with Whittaker.
‘Soldier of God’ dropped a unanimous decision to ‘The Reaper’ in an interim title bout last year but rebounded with a brutal third-round KO win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 this past February.
Whittaker, 27, was promoted to official middleweight champion last year and was expected to defend his title against Rockhold at UFC 221. However, the New Zealander was forced to pull out of the bout due to a series of health issues and Romero, 40, stepped in as his replacement.
Romero told Rogan that he learned a lot from his loss to Whittaker (his first under the UFC banner) and learned to pace himself against Rockhold.
“After the [Whittaker] fight, my manager said that when he saw me I had a big smile on my face,” Romero said, per MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew. “I was very happy. I didn’t take that loss as serious as I should have. [I was happy because] I learned. And now you see what happened with Luke Rockhold. I learned about timing.
“Listen, people talk about my ‘gas’ but it wasn’t easy to fight Luke Rockhold. I went to Albuquerque with Jon Jones and I learned something. They controlled my attacks, so I learned when to attack. If you go, go, go, you will get tired. So I had to learn to pace myself. I don’t have a problem with five rounds now.”
Romero, who hails from Cuba, was originally expected to challenge Rockhold for the interim 185-pound title but was penalized after he missed weight by almost two pounds. The former Olympian left the Octagon empty handed but will look to capture the official title when he rematches Whittaker.
UFC 225, which is expected to feature Whittaker vs. Romero in the main event, takes place June 9 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.