Whittaker Makes the Mark; Romero Does Not

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Yoel Romero, left, and Robert Whittaker pose ahead of their 2017 bout.

Whittaker (21-4) won despite being outworked in the fifth. Late in the round, Whittaker landed a jab that nearly instantly closed Romero's right eye, but he fought on to the horn. It happened again Saturday, as he suffered an injured right hand early in the fight. Since Romero missed weight and was ineligible to win the title, an immediate rubber match seems likely.

Romero originally weighed in at 186 pounds and had two hours to cut to make championship weight. Romero has a history of unusual behavior, and missing weight for a championship fight felt like something that was right in his wheelhouse.

"It's a long flight to Chicago".

As a result, New Zealand-fighter Whittaker will have to wait to defend his title after last fighting nearly a year ago in July.

Romero was tentative in the first round, and Whittaker damaged his right eye in the second with a kick.

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Romero started the third frame with desperation coursing through his veins, attacking wildly, and it worked.

At the time of writing, the terms of the contest are not clear but UFC President Dana White confirmed that the fight will take place while it remains to be seen whether a title will be on the line, whether it will be the main event or how many rounds it will be. Romero swarmed and relentlessly punched Whittaker, who was on all-fours, just trying to survive.

He was rocked by Romero again with less than 30 seconds left in the penultimate frame. Now that he is on the sidelines working more and more with FOX Sports, the former UFC middleweight champion remains that way.

The co-main event features Rafael Dos Anjos taking on Colby Covington for the interim welterweight strap. 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. The outspoken Covington called out current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley. That includes moments with former WWE superstar CM Punk, who tackles Mike Jackson from inside the United Center in Chicago. On Friday, he came in at 185.2 for his title fight with Robert Whittaker, forcing it to be a non-title fight affair.

The generation gap is hard to ignore in the heavyweight matchup between Tai Tuivasa (-250) and Andrei Arlovski (+210). However, in a close fight, volume has a favorable effect on the judges' scorecards. Pettis' striking game was the difference as he bounced back from a unanimous decision loss to No. 2 contender Henry Cejudo. The former UFC bantamweight champ and boxing star may have surprised some by her methodology: she took the six-foot-tall Anderson down easily in all three rounds and kept her on the defensive nearly constantly with bruising ground-and-pound.

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