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UFC 225 results from last night: Robert Whittaker vs Yoel Romero fight recap

MMA: UFC 213-Romero vs Whittaker Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight killers Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero rematched last night (June 9, 2018) at UFC 225 inside the United Center in Chicago, Illinoise.

Whittaker’s goal is to be remembered as one of the best ever. Given the Aussie’s win streak the led to his last title victory over Romero, it seemed an attainable goal ahead of his first title defense. Sadly, Romero hurt both men by missing weight, costing himself a chance at the title and Whittaker’s his moment to score a title defense. Looking past the circumstances though, the bottom line here was yet another great match up between Middleweight’s clear-cut top two athletes.

The first 30 seconds of the fight could be considered Whittaker’s revenge for the first fight, as he immediately went to work in stomping on Romero’s lead leg. Whittaker did more than just stomp though, chopping at the calf and thigh. In addition, Whittaker shot sharp jabs up the center of Romero’s guard.

Before long, Whittaker was looking to pitch the right hand and right kick in behind the jab. He found home for many of his strikes, but Romero largely just watched from the Orthodox stance. The Cuban landed a couple left hooks and a nice left elbow counter, but he pretty much took the round off to get a read on his foe.

Romero’s stare is intimidating, but he lost the round nevertheless.

Romero reminded Whittaker that he was in the fight to start the second round, blitzing briefly with some power shots. Once Romero settled back down, however, Whittaker continued to pick away at his opponent with side kicks to the knee and front kicks up the middle. In addition, the right round kick to the body found a home repeatedly. Romero did answer with more kicks and an occasional lead knee, but Whittaker’s jab had closed his opponent’s right eye.

Romero attempted his first takedown of the fight in the final 30 seconds after a big flurry, but it was denied.

Whittaker opened the third round with some nasty kicks to the lead leg, but Romero answered with a ton of aggression. Romero’s sprint resulted in a clean power punch to the jaw, sending the Aussie to the floor briefly. Whittaker returned to his feet, and Romero poured on the pressure, ignoring his own fatigue in the chase for the knockout. Whittaker recovered his feet briefly and landed some counters, but Romero’s clubbing hooks would not be denied. He rocked Whittaker once more, but “Bobby Knuckles” hung in there and survived until the end of the round.

Whittaker survived the legendary third round opposite Romero, but it probably cost him a year off his life.

Romero’s previous sprint cost him a lot of energy, leading him to allow Whittaker to kick and poke at him for the opening minute. A low blow from Whittaker gave Romero some extra time to catch his breath as well. Romero returned from the rest more active, but Whittaker continued to stab with repeated jabs and hyper-extend Romero’s knee repeatedly. Worth-noting was that Whittaker nearly completely abandoned his right hand, which seemed to be broken. Instead, he switched approaches, looking to land a right elbow over the top.

Romero stunned Whittaker with several hard punches near the end of what was otherwise clearly the Aussie’s round.

Romero opened the final frame with a hard cross, so Whittaker punted him in the mid-section. The two were landing at a heavy clip, but a big shot from Romero planted him on the mat once again. Whittaker seemed to be in terrible trouble, but he used a single leg takedown attempt to clear his head and eventually get back to his feet. Romero did not let up though, tripping the legs out from underneath “Bobby Knuckles” and dragging him back down to the mat.

Whittaker broke away with just 30 seconds remaining. Romero attempted to make something happen with a final couple explosions, but nothing all that significant landed.

The end result was a split-decision for Robert Whittaker.

Whittaker is one of the greatest fighters in the world. His technical kickboxing was on point all night, even after breaking his right hand early. If Romero were not made of stone, Whittaker’s high kick probably would have knocked him out. At the very least, a regular human would have shown some pain from all the damage to the lead leg.

Did Whittaker get cracked a few times? Of course, but that’s understandable considering his excellent opponent. The important thing is that Whittaker gutted through it and kept fighting to the final bell, and even when Romero did stun him, Whittaker kept firing back.

Prior to this fight, I wrote Romero had to abandon the constant takedown attempts in pursuit of the knockout. For much of the fight, he did just that. Romero did not waste energy on takedowns — generally only going to his wrestling after stunning Whittaker — he spent all of his willpower on stopping the Australian.

It didn’t end up resulting in the knockout, but it gave him his best chance at scoring the victory, nearly finishing Whittaker twice and coming far closer to taking the decision.

It was a great fight regardless of who won on your scorecard.

Last night, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero threw down in one of the best fights of all time. Who did you believe won the fight?

For complete UFC 225: “Whittaker vs. Romero 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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