In an ultra-enticing main event bout last night (Sat., July 8, 2017) at UFC 213 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero put his undefeated UFC record on the line opposite rising knockout artist Robert Whittaker.
In effort to slow Whittaker’s movement around the outer edges, Romero slammed countless kicks to the Australian’s left leg in the early going. Something was clearly wrong with the leg because Whittaker complained about it in between Rounds 1 and 2. Still, the 26-year-old was resilient in his defense along the cage and after Romero shot for takedowns.
The third round was all Whittaker. He landed countless lead kicks to the body of Romero and even dropped the Cuban along the cage. Whittaker forced Romero to exert significant energy in defense and it really started to show. The Australian even landed a hard left hand at the end of the frame, despite his ongoing leg issue. Whittaker landed a massive kick to the ribs of Romero in the opening moments of the fourth round before “Solider of God” tied the action up for a breather. Whittaker responded with hard rights and lefts that stunned Romero and sent him backpedaling. An exhausted Romero shot labored takedowns to buy himself some time as the fourth round came to an end.
In the fifth, a tired Romero allowed Whittaker to tee off at will. Whittaker went back to the body before landing knees and hard right hands. Romero had a brief offensive outburst that forced “The Reaper” to collect himself, but nothing of major significance. Instead, Whittaker took top control, landed hard elbows, and scored even more points before the final bell sounded. In the end, Whittaker walked away with the unanimous decision win and a shiny gold belt.
Check out the full fight video highlights above courtesy of UFC.
With this win, Whittaker claims the interim middleweight strap and lines himself up for a showdown with current champion Michael Bisping later this year. At just 26 years of age, Whittaker has a bright future atop the 185-pound crop. But before his era as champion becomes official he must outpoint a “Count” his next time out.
For more UFC 213 results and coverage click here.