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. Punk last fought back in September 2016, losing via submission to Mickey Gall at 2:14 in the first round at UFC 203.
The two combatants met at UFC 213 last summer for the interim middleweight belt when Whittaker defeated Romero in a closely contested battle via a unanimous decision.
But Whittaker has agreed to save the main event and face him in a non-title bout.
The path to UFC 225 has been winding, to say the least.
Earlier this year, Romero weighed in at 187.7 pounds for a fight with Luke Rockhold for the interim belt.
This marks the second time in a row that Romero has missed weight for a fight.
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"I think suspensions are in order, I really do", Whittaker said, per Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole.
"He's a tough guy and then I got exhausted and he was still tough but I wasn't hitting as hard".
As a former Olympic wrestler, Romero shouldn't be having trouble making weight.
"It's very hard. We come here to fight for the title", Romero said. Or really punish him for missing weight by pushing him down the line of contenders.
Romero is a world-class wrestler with knockout power and a physique that belies his age of 41.
When SN talked to Whittaker recently and asked whether he would still take the fight if Romero missed weight again, the middleweight champion, who came in at 185 pounds, made it clear he would not. "I'm refueling and getting ready for a fight". "I call it like I see it, a racist is a racist". Am I gonna get furious at you because you can't sit through a bad television show?