Robert Whittaker would probably still be middleweight champion, but his career was ruined after enduring back-to-back five-round wars against Cuban killer Yoel Romero, widely-recognized as one of the most powerful punchers at 185 pounds.
That’s according to teammate Jorge Masvidal.
In fact, “The Soldier of God” is so lethal inside the Octagon, the promotion was forced to keep him away from newly-crowned middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, or “The Last Stylebender” would have never made it to the top of the 185-pound mountain.
“I told everyone that no one is the same after fighting Yoel Romero,” Masvidal wrote on Twitter. “You guys will see. UFC [was] smart for protecting Israel. Yoel wins one and should be next. Should’ve been the one from the get. Rob will never be the same.”
While the damage Whittaker took in his close wins over Romero was definitely a concern, it didn’t seem to have much of an effect on middleweight bruiser Paulo Costa, who was happy to stand and bang with “The Soldier of God” at UFC 241 back in August.
It’s also worth mentioning that Whittaker had what can only be described as a moronic gameplan for the UFC 243 main event, barreling in with reckless abandon against one of the division’s premiere strikers. The result was a second-round knockout.
Romero (13-4) turns 43 in the spring and I guess now is a good time to mention he’s lost three of his last four, so the promotion may not share the same outlook as his cheerleaders when it comes to his future place in the middleweight title picture.