Yoel Romero’s failure to drop 0.2 pounds before his second attempt to weigh 185 pounds for his middleweight title fight against Robert Whittaker can’t stop UFC 225 from being this summer’s most hyped card.
The title is no longer on the line when the pair will step into the Octagon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a championship-caliber fight. It’s a repeat of their 2017 brawl, and it features two of the best in the weight class, who will top off a card that has remarkable depth at United Center in Chicago.
Before Romero and Whittaker square off for a second time, Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington will vie for the interim welterweight title in the co-main event. The rest of the card features plenty of familiar faces and rising contenders, including major fights in the heavyweight division and an intriguing clash of women’s featherweights.
Add in the reappearance of former WWE star CM Punk, and you have a card chock-full of intrigue and action.
Main Card (at 10 p.m. ET on Pay-Per-View)
Robert Whittaker (19-4) vs. Yoel Romero (13-2)
Rafael dos Anjos (28-9) vs. Colby Covington (13-1), UFC interim welterweight title
Holly Holm (11-4) vs. Megan Anderson (8-2)
Andrei Arlovski (27-15, 1NC) vs. Tai Tuivasa (7-0)
CM Punk (0-1) vs. Mike Jackson (0-1)
Prelims (at 8 p.m. ET on FS1)
Alistair Overeem (43-16, 1NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (9-1, 1NC)
Claudia Gadelha (15-3) vs. Carla Esparza (13-4)
Ricardo Lamas (18-6) vs. Mirsad Bektic (12-1)
Rashad Coulter (8-3) vs. Chris de la Rocha (4-2)
Early Prelims (at 6:15 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass)
Rashad Evans (19-7-1) vs. Anthony Smith (28-13)
Joseph Benavidez (25-4) vs. Sergio Pettis (16-3)
Clay Guida (34-17) vs. Charles Oliveira (22-8, 1NC)
Mike Santiago (20-11) vs. Dan Ige (8-2)
Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 08: (R-L) Robert Whittaker of New Zealand punches Yoel Romero of Cuba in their interim UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 213 event at the T-Mobile Arena on July 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuf
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
This is the main event that almost wasn’t.
With Romero missing on the scale, it appeared this bout was in jeopardy. As Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting noted, it was a tough weight cut for the Cuban wrestler:
That’s not a good omen for the man who would have been a title challenger. He also missed weight against Luke Rockhold in his last fight before knocking him out in the first round, but Whittaker isn’t Rockhold.