UFC 225 may be the most thrilling event for the promotion thus far in 2018. Its headliner -- a meeting of two warriors who refused to yield at any point during the five-round war -- was a blessing to fans. Robert Whittaker called it the hardest fight of his career.
A day before, the fight didn’t look as promising, at least in the eyes of those who were present during the weigh-ins. Yoel Romero missed weight again, and the Illinois Athletic Commission cut his time short, despite initially giving him two hours to hit the mark. By this time, it almost felt like the match was sealed in the champion’s favor.
But the Cuban fighter clearly had other plans. He was ready for a war, and so was the champion. In the end, Whittaker left United Center with an improved resume. Now here is a closer look on their UFC 225 affair, by the numbers.
5: Brutal rounds full of back-and-forth action defined the second encounter of Whittaker and Romero. Two judges saw it at 48-47 for the former, awarding him the split decision victory.
14: Takedowns stopped by Whittaker in their first fight. His ability to keep the fight standing was certainly the key for his win. While the Olympic freestyle wrestling medalist Romero was able to land four takedowns, it wasn’t enough to salvage the win.
3: Takedowns given up by Whittaker in his last 11 fights coming into their rematch. That isn’t much considering he fought competent grapplers like Ronaldo Souza, Derek Brunson and Rafael Natal along the way.
128: Significant strikes landed by Whittaker as opposed to Romero’s 111. In their first fight, Whittaker also had the upper hand at 74, while his opponent had 48.
50: Minutes shared by the two warriors inside the Octagon. Whittaker has already implied that a rubber match isn’t a priority, but fans surely won’t mind if that happens.
20: Wins against four losses is the champion’s new record. While the rematch wasn’t considered a title defense since Romero didn’t make weight, it’s a victory well deserved.
8: Wins without a defeat since moving to middleweight in November 2014. It is currently the longest active streak in the division. In all, Whittaker is 11-2 in the UFC.
4: “Fight of the Night” honors in his UFC career. His most recent was the rematch against Romero, where he received $100,000. Romero wasn’t eligible for a fight bonus because he missed weight.