February 18, 2019

Yoel Romero not eligible for interim UFC title after missing weight

10 February 2018, 12:06 | Anna Jefferson

SPORT Mark Hunt faces Curtis Blaydes in a UFC bout in Perth on Sunday

Mark Hunt faces Curtis Blaydes in a UFC bout in Perth on Sunday

Luke Rockhold's days as a middleweight are numbered. As a result, only Rockhold can claim the middleweight title should he defeat Romero in the Perth Arena on Sunday.

Cuba's Yoel Romero was minutes away from capturing gold in the UFC previous year - but now he has a second chance, stepping into the breach to fight America's Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, after illness caused Australia's world middleweight champion Robert Whittaker to withdraw from the fight.

As confident as Rockhold might be about making 185 pounds this weekend and then performing on Saturday night against Romero, he knows he only has so much time left before he's destined to move up to light heavyweight.

The Kiwi fighter is uncertain if he'll get a fair crack from UFC boss Dana White
The Kiwi fighter is uncertain if he'll get a fair crack from UFC boss Dana White

"(Cutting to middleweight) never gets any easier. After the initial attempt, Romero and Rockhold faced off and exchanged words - with a visibly annoyed Rockhold later saying to UFC on FOX's Megan Olivi that Romero needed to "be professional", and that his opponent didn't "have the cleanest track record".

Yoel Romero (left) failed to make weight for his UFC fight against Luke Rockhold in Perth. "I'm ahead of schedule this time around and I'll be fine, but 205 [pounds] is imminent". Rockhold doesn't believe Cormier will return to the 205-pound division and that opens a window of opportunity. I'll be fine, but 205 is imminent. But the "Soldier of God", who rarely goes more than a couple of answers in a press conference without mentioning his faith, says that doesn't make any difference to his fight preparation. Let us know in the comments.

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