When Robert Whittaker squares off with Yoel Romero, it’s a safe bet that top-notch violence is going to ensue. It’s also likely that some injuries are going to occur.
That was the case in their rematch at UFC 225, as Whittaker’s team released a photo revealing an x-ray of a broken thumb suffered in the first round of Saturday’s headliner at the United Center in Chicago. According to the Instagram post, “The Reaper” fought four and a half rounds with the injury. Still, the 27-year-old was able to survive a few harrowing moments to emerge with a split-decision triumph over Romero. Whittaker’s middleweight title was not on the line in the fight due to Romero missing weight by 0.2 pounds.
“In the first round, I busted my hand and I cannot feel it up to my elbow,” Whittaker said shortly after the victory. “Yoel hits like a truck and I just had to try and survive and make the comeback. I could have seen it going any way because it was tight but I hit him a lot and I thought I did enough to get three of the five rounds. It was a really tough fight but I want to go back and talk to my team and see what we think should be next.”
Neither Whittaker nor Romero attended the UFC 225 post-fight press conference because both combatants were transported to the hospital after their fight.
In their first meeting at UFC 213, Whittaker injured his left knee after absorbing some Romero leg kicks in the opening stanza. Nonetheless, Whittaker battled through to earn a unanimous decision win over five rounds and claim what was then the interim middleweight belt.