UFC 225 pits Australian, Robert Whittaker, against Cuban, Yoel Romero, in the middleweight title bout. Whittaker intends to defend his title and also happens to be the first UFC champion from Australia or New Zealand. Since moving up in weight class from the welterweight division, he boasts a seven-match win streak as a middleweight, which happens to be the longest active streak in the UFC. UFC betting odds list him as the favorite to hold on to the title.
With a 10-2 UFC record and coming in at 19-4 as a professional fighter overall, Robert Whittaker remains confident in his ability to retain the title this June. His challenger, Yoel Romero, is fresh off of a knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 that didn’t exceed three rounds, so his confidence is not lacking. It shouldn’t, especially considering that his seven knockout victories are the most in middleweight history.
Though less experienced than Whittaker within the realm of UFC fighting, Romero boasts an impressive overall record himself. At 9-1 as a UFC fighter and 13-2 as a Mixed Martial Arts professional, he has shown himself to be a legitimate threat to snatch the title away from Whittaker.
An accomplished athlete outside of MMA, Romero was a decorated wrestler before his career as a fighter. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics he earned the silver medal in freestyle wrestling, which bodes well for his ground game within MMA.
Another interesting storyline with this matchup stems from each fighter’s last professional loss. For Whittaker, that came back in 2014 at UFC 170 where he suffered a TKO loss at the hands of Stephen Thompson in a welterweight tilt.
This is where things get interesting. Romero’s last loss was much more recent and it’d be a shock if both he and Whittaker didn’t vividly remember it, considering the latter won via unanimous decision.
It was UFC 213 in July of 2018 and though Romero won the opening two rounds, Whittaker took command over the final three. The second bout between Romero and Whittaker is clearly the main event, but the rest of the card is not without intrigue.
Former WWE wrestling superstar, CM Punk, will square off with Mike Jackson. Punk actually made his MMA debut in September of 2016 and lost via submission to Mickey Gall at UFC 203. Because he was crossing over from the WWE, that fight was shrouded in a ridiculous amount of fanfare, which seems to be lacking this time. That could be due to the fact that Punk, a Chicago native, has not fought since that loss in 2016, until now. Mike Jackson also comes in with a 0-1 MMA record, as both competitors look for their first professional win.
There has been quite a bit of speculation in regard to two fighters with a combined 0-2 record being featured on a main card, but the explanation given was that due to Punk’s large fan base stemming from his days as a WWE star, his fights to tend to earn a lot of viewership money.
This should be interesting.