UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker just fought Yoel Romero for the second time at UFC 225 on Saturday night and doesn’t seem to keen on a third fight between the two.
Romero and Whittaker first threw down at UFC 213, with Whittaker taking a unanimous decision victory. Their second fight was admittedly closer, with the champion winning a split decision, but regardless, Whittaker thinks he’s moved past Romero and gave his honest opinion when asked about a trilogy during The MMA Hour:
“When Rogan asked me in the Octagon the other night, he said rubbermatch and for one, I have never heard of the term rubber match so he caught me off guard there. Second, I had just beat the boogeyman of the division twice back-to-back. I don’t think it’s how the division, UFC conducts business to get the champion to fight one guy, who on both occasions doesn’t make weight for a championship fight, back-to-back-to-back. Like, am I going to fight Yoel Romero forever?”
Romero has beaten every middleweight put in front of him aside from Whittaker and is clearly the number two middleweight in the UFC. However, as evidenced in the two Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson fights, a third fight isn’t really necessary if the champion won or retained the belt the first two times, regardless of how close those fights may be.
Romero didn’t even make weight for his second middleweight title shot, and now there are talks of him possibly returning to light heavyweight, where he hasn’t fought since a knockout loss to Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante back in 2011. In fact, this is his second time in a row where he has missed weight. If Romero does end up moving up to 205 pounds, a trilogy between the two would be moot.
Whittaker took exception in particular to Romero missing weight:
“I had told other people that (wouldn’t fight if Yoel missed weight), but I was more trying to get my opponent to think about it and take a little more seriously. I’m a professional in all the things I do, and when I sign the contract and it says 185, I make sure I am 185,” he added.
“I’ll get in bright and early and make sure I am one of the first people on the scales. The thing is, I didn’t need to take the fight and I could have walked way with my purse money and not taken the fight,” explained Robert. “I had a right to do that. But the thing was I had a lot of fans here and Chicago was super pumped to see the main event and a lot of people bought the PPV to watch the rematch between me and Romero. At the end of the day I’m a fighter and I just told myself I would take this fight. Someone was going to get into a fight.”
But if he doesn’t move up in weight, would you be interested in a trilogy between the two? Or is Whittaker right in that he shouldn’t have to keep fighting Romero?