Yoel Romero missed weight by 2.7 lbs during his interim title bout against Luke Rockhold last February. He won the fight, but even if he was ineligible to win that interim belt, he was still able to secure a title shot against Robert Whittaker at UFC 225.
According to Whittaker though, if Romero misses weight again, the championship rematch is off.
“I don’t think Rockhold should have taken that fight. He had nothing to gain from it once Romero didn’t make weight,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “But it is what it is. He’s a fighter first and foremost, he still fought, he saved the card and props to him.
“I don’t understand anyone who takes fights when their opponent doesn’t make weight,” he continued. “It’s like, if you rock up at 87 kilos, which is what Romero did – It was like 86 kilos or something like that – then why don’t I rock up at 95 (kgs)? What’s the difference? We’re both not making weight, we’re both not professional enough to do it, you know?
“And the weight cut is directly influential to the fight itself. I think not making weight is the most unprofessional thing you can do. It’s as bad as just not showing up for the fight itself,” he said. “So, if you don’t make weight, I’m not fighting you. I’ll give the shot to someone else who can make the weight, who can do their freaking job.”
According to Whittaker, he’s “not losing sleep” or bothered about the possibility of Romero missing weight, but also reiterated how big a factor that would be come fight time.
“Put it this way, sometimes when I’m cutting weight, the difference of 500 grams — 500 grams! — more is the difference between me going to hospital or not. You know what I mean? So when a dude doesn’t make weight by about two kilos (laughs) you’re getting a massive advantage, especially if you’re 500 grams off going to hospital.”
The middleweight champion went on to predict that he finishes Romero in the rematch, as he won’t come in injured and believes he has improved more in the past year.
“I think it will be the exact same fight. Yoel can’t fight me any other way. The only thing that will be different is that I’ll be better,” he said, before discussing the MCL injury he had prior to his win over Romero. “I felt him out, so I’m gonna work on certain things that I know is going to stump him. I don’t think he’s at a point where he can make drastic changes. I don’t think he can change anything that will really make an impact for this next fight.
“I hope and I pray that he fights me like he fought Rockhold, because like think about it, a stationary target in front of me? (laughs) Yeah, alright,” he said. “I think I stop him in the third, but let’s see.”
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