Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight king Robert Whittaker is set to take on Yoel Romero in a rematch on June 9 at UFC 225 inside the United Center in Chicago.
The two previously met back in July at UFC 213, where Whittaker outpointed the Cuban Olympian to secure a unanimous decision and claim the UFC interim middleweight belt.
Over the weekend, the UFC brought together a number of fighters to promote upcoming events throughout the year as part of the UFC 25th anniversary celebration. Several of the athletes gathered for a press conference and then squared off for photo opportunities.
Backstage, during the media scrum, the Australian was questioned on a number of things including Romero’s last bout with Rockhold.
“I don’t think anyone is really surprised when Yoel Romero hits them.” Whittaker said.
“I had a feeling when I saw them touch gloves especially with the way fight went out in the first round; you could see that Rockhold was finding it really hard to incorporate his game plan game”
Whittaker hasn’t fought since that last fight with Romero in July and has just recovered from a serious staph infection in his stomach. The severity of the infection caused concern, with even UFC President Dana White voicing his concern about the well-being of his middleweight champion.
Due to his inactivity, fans were concerned his injury layoff meant he may be suffering from some rustiness as he was unable to train much while recovering from the infection. The Aussie assured fans that he has received a clean bill of health and has been back in the gym training hard for his rematch.
When asked if there’s any area in training he’s improved on since there last fight, Whittaker responded.
“I’ve improved across the board, I really have. I have the right team around me and we are focusing on my skill gaps.”
It seems then that the only concern going into this fight is the fact Romero missed weight last time, albeit taking the fight against Rockhold only on a month’s notice. The Cuban cuts a significant amount of weight to compete at middleweight and Whittaker believes that if Romero misses weight again then he’s simply not doing his job well.
“If he misses weight, then I don’t think there will be a fight. If you miss weight, you haven’t done your job. That’s my personal opinion on MMA weight cutting.”