In their middleweight championship tilt, Robert Whittaker (20-4) eked out a split decision over the "Soldier of God", by 48-47 (twice) and 47-48 in the UFC 225 headliner Saturday. Covington is a on five-fight win streak, but the past three were by unanimous decision as he bases his strategy around takedowns and grinding opponents. Whittaker has now won nine bouts in a row.
The 41-year-old Cuban's recent struggles come on the heels of an eight-fight win streak that began with an impressive opening-round KO of Clifford Starks in his promotional debut at UFC on Fox 7 in January 2013. Romero earned a third-round KO victory as a plus-150 underdog, but was deemed ineligible to claim the belt after failing to make weight.
Renowned for producing explosive moments after being seemingly passive, Romero did just that in the third to change the momentum of the fight.
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How do the Cavaliers bounce back from that, especially after absorbing an even more painful setback in Game 1 last Thursday? Durant is incredible, but his isolation sets have had a tendency to drag down Golden State's offense at times.
Romero feels that if he was given that extra hour then he could have made the championship weight and challenged for the title. The main event is positioned on top of arguably the most exciting card of action the UFC have put together this year. On Friday, he came in at 185.2 for his title fight with Robert Whittaker, forcing it to be a non-title fight affair. Great. But the UFC wouldn't have been able to book him into another title fight immediately because he's already missed weight for two title fights. Romero knocked out Rockhold in the second round. Yes, it's their job to make weight. Yes, he is older now, but he's an experienced athlete when it comes to cutting weight.
With UFC president Dana White taking a tough-love approach as of late, it could be to the back of the list for Romero no matter what. In response, Romero threw cold water on the idea. He is a spectacular and violent fighter, the kind that makes you sit on the edge of your seat and hold your breath. Romero kept fighting with urgency, but Whittaker kept his distance as best he could jabbing and side-kicking.