Whittaker wins split decision in UFC war with Romero

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker says he is in best shape ever before his UFC return bout with Yoel Romero

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker says he is in best shape ever before his UFC return bout with Yoel Romero

Join us from 10am Sunday (WST) as Australia's Robert Whittaker takes on Yoel Romero in a highly-anticipated UFC middlewight battle. No UFC fighter had missed weight for a title fight since Travis Lutter at UFC 67 almost 11 years ago. The duo fought anyway, but without a belt on the line.

Robert Whittaker survived some frightening moments and a pair of knockdowns in the championship rounds against Yoel Romero to retain the UFC middleweight title by split decision in the main event of UFC 225 that took place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. In their first fight he attempted half as many strikes as Whittaker but landed them at a higher rate.

Whittaker was the early aggressor, landing frequently with hand and foot, in the first, while Romero struggled to find his range.

Whittaker-Romero still should be a scintillating headliner.

So, for the second consecutive fight, Romero will be in a planned championship bout without the opportunity to claim the title.

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Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Whittaker's title defense against Romero at UFC 225.

Romero started the third frame with desperation coursing through his veins, attacking wildly, and it worked. What has become par for the course with Romero saw the Cuban fight in spurts in an effort to conserve energy. Romero swarmed and relentlessly punched Whittaker, who was on all-fours, just trying to survive. Now that he is on the sidelines working more and more with FOX Sports, the former UFC middleweight champion remains that way. 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. And WWE superstar CM Punk (0-1) makes his return after a disappointing UFC debut in 2016.

Holly Holm (-210) is favored against UFC debutante Megan Anderson (+180) in what amounts to a women's featherweight title eliminator.

The two fighters were introduced and faced off at the ceremonial weigh-ins later Friday.

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