Robert Whittaker is prepared to go to the depths of exhaustion to overcome Yoel Romero once more and stamp his authority on the UFC middleweight championship.
Romero initially came in at 186lbs and was given an additional hour to get down to 185lbs for the much-anticipated rematch but he could only get as low as 185.2lbs, meaning he was ineligible to fight for the title.
But the bout no longer is a title fight after Romero failed to make weight for the second straight time in a title fight.
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The two fighters were introduced and faced off at the ceremonial weigh-ins later Friday.
"The last fight with him, 25 minutes I was trying to finish him", Whittaker said. His run also featured six knockout victories and four bonuses, including the Performance of the Night following his third-round KO of former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman that paid out on plus-175 odds at UFC 205. However, his second attempt had him at 0.2 pounds overweight.
Romero was the last of the 26 fighters on the card to hit the scales in Chicago, where the UFC 225 event will take place on Sunday. As a result of Romero missing weight, Rockhold could only win the interim title if he won the fight. "Why would I? I might as well fight someone heavier than me".