UFC 225 results: Robert Whittaker dropped multiple times but outlasts Yoel Romero in non-title affair

 

CHICAGO – A belt may not have been on the line, but the drama was just as high as any championship fight in recent memory, as Robert Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) took home a split-decision win over Yoel Romero (13-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC).

The middleweight bout (Romero missed weight, making it a non-title fight) was the main event of today’s UFC 225 show at United Center in Chicago. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

 

After a touch of gloves to start the fight, Whittaker was quick to kick the legs and then throw up high. Romero was stoic, keeping his hands high and remaining almost stationary as he absorbed the blows. Whittaker fired a quick jab up the middle but continued to chop the legs, as well. The left hand started to land clean for Whittaker, and Romero began to load up on a few big punches that missed – but certainly caught his opponent’s attention.

Whittaker’s jab and lead hook peppered Romero’s face and head, and the low kicks chopped at his base, as well. Romero was patient as he picked his blows, throwing them all with power, of course, but struggling to land clean. Whittaker added the right hand on a few combinations in the latter stages of the round, and he dug to the body, as well.

Romero showed some hop in his step to start the second, firing in his own low kicks and a few big elbows, as well. Clearly taking a different strategy in this frame, it was a more aggressive Romero in the opening minutes, though Whittaker adjusted well and started launching big right hands that found their mark.

As the round wore on, Romero’s right eye started to close, and it seemed to bring out a little more desperation with his efforts. Whittaker seemed energized by the visual damage and was able to open up the arsenal, sneaking in a few high kicks that landed as he moved around the cage. Romero certainly wasn’t done, landing a right hand that just missed the button and then coming up short on a takedown in the final seconds of the round.

Whittaker continued to chop at the legs to start the third, while Romero seemed to know he had to get things done quickly. as he s started to swarm, a big right hand blasted Whittaker’s chin and changed the course of the fight, sending his opponent to the canvas. Whittaker was clearly hurt but battled, covering on his knees and crawling up to his feet. He couldn’t immediately escape to safety, and Romero stayed in tight, controlling him against the cage and then unleashing a barrage of punches. Seemingly still shaken, Whittaker was able to target a few big elbows that landed clean but couldn’t halt the attack. Romero powered his way into the clinch and kept the action tight, and Whittaker was forced to defend the takedown and try to counter in the moments he felt safe.

Romero just missed on a foot sweep past the halfway mark, and Whittaker landed a high kick that seemed to stun his opponent. Still, Romero walked forward through the blows and fired off his big right hands. Whittaker was bloodied and dazed but reset to the center and landed another stunning high kick. The action was incredibly intense, and neither man would give. Romero seemed to have a quick takedown, but Whittaker knew he couldn’t stay there, crawling to his feet and working the clinch until the bell.

Romero was clearly exhausted between rounds, and he was again stoic to start the fourth. Whittaker fired in a few high kicks that landed but simply couldn’t put Romero down. Whittaker chopped at the legs, as well, stomping on the knee, before Romero complained of a low blow and took a break that the crowd wasn’t thrilled to see.

Whittaker again stomped at the knee on the restart, while Romero just lumbered through it and fired the big right hand. Whittaker landed jab after jab on the feet, but Romero simply shook it off and continued seeking the big punch on the feet. Romero’s mouth was wide open as he moved around the cage, but when he did unleash his punches, it was with vicious intentions.

Whittaker added in more elbows on the feet, and he cut Romero under that battered right eye. Front kicks to the body also landed for Whittaker, but Romero wouldn’t stop, landing a right hand that again had Whittaker wobbled and struggling to stay upright.

Whittaker fired out more kicks to the legs to start the final round, thought Romero was able to counter with a right hand over the top. Whittaker just ducked a nasty spinning backfist before going back to work with his quick jab and snapping kicks to the body and leg.

Romero continued to walk forward, and a leaping left hand landed clean and sent Whittaker crashing to the floor. He immediately turtled up and defend his head as Romero tried to punch away at the body and head. Referee Dan Miraglotta watched closely, but Whittaker did enough to keep himself in the fight, trying to rise but being careful as he turtled not to take another concussive blow.

Whittaker crawled back to his feet with a little more than two minutes remaining, and Romero stayed tight to the bdoy. He dragged Whittaker back down, landing a few vicious knees to the back. Whittaker showed incredible resolve in survival, crawling again to his feet and trying to peel away the arms. Miragliotta called for a restart with 40 seconds remaining, and Whittaker tried his best to engage – but only from a safe distance. Romero slipped on a spinning high kick in the final seconds, and both men celebrated at the final bell.

In the end, it was Whittaker he did enough to take the win via split decision, 47-48, 48-47 and 48-47.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 225 results include:

  • Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
  • Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos via via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) – to win interim welterweight title
  • Holly Holm def. Megan Anderson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tai Tuivasa def. Andre Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mike Jackson def. CM Punk via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem via TKO (elbows) – Round 3, 2:56
  • Carla Esparza def. Claudia Gadelha via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mirsad Bektic def. Ricardo Lamas via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Chris De La Rocha def. Rashad Coulter via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:53
  • Anthony Smith def. Rashad Evans via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 0:53
  • Sergio Pettis def. Joseph Benavidez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Charles Oliveira def. Clay Guida via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:18
  • Dan Ige def. Mike Santiago via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:50

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