Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Robert Whittaker Forced Out Of UFC 221, Replaced by Yoel Romero

Middleweight champ Robert Whittaker out of UFC 221 Yoel Romero replaces him Middleweight champ Robert Whittaker out of UFC 221 Yoel Romero replaces him
Rita Gibson | 13 January, 2018, 18:14

The 40-year-old Romero comes into the fight off the back of an interim title fight defeat to the aforementioned Whittaker in July of last year, but prior to that he had been on an eight-fight winning streak that had seen him defeat the likes of Chris Weidman, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Lyoto Machida and Tim Kennedy.

Whittaker's injury with a new interim title being introduced is just the latest saga affecting the middleweight division.

News broke earlier today that UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) had sustained an injury and will be unable to defend his title at UFC 221 in Perth.

Whittaker attempted to remain on in the event scheduled for 11 February, but was declared medically unable by physicians.

Regardless, Rockhold will continue his climb back towards the title by facing Romero, who was scheduled to take on David Branch on February 24, for the interim title.

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St-Pierre's move allowed Whittaker to exchange his interim title for the undisputed crown, and news of the fight with Rockhold signaled a return to business for a division that had been slowed by chaos for the past year. "I hope the fans enjoy what should be a great night of fights at UFC 221, and I look forward to a recovery as soon as possible that will have me back in the Octagon to face the victor of the main event". The loss was Romero's first since he was KO'd by Rafael Calvacante in a light-heavyweight bout at a Strikeforce event in September of 2011 and his first ever in the UFC.

"I would like to apologise to all my supporters and fans of MMA for not being able to put on the show you deserve", Whittaker wrote on his Instagram account.

The Perth event is already a sell-out. "All the best to Yoel and Luke for their fight and ill be waiting..."

Rockhold is coming off his first win since losing the middleweight belt to Michael Bisping at 199 in June of 2016.

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