The bout was not for Whittaker's title because Romero missed weight. Romero landed an uppercut. From the casual observer drawn in by the big name to the purist attracted to great tactical fights to the action-seeker wanting fireworks from the opening bell, the UFC has its fan base covered.
Romero (13-2), meanwhile, was sharp in his last outing on February 10, knocking out former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold with a crushing left hand. Romero powered his way into the clinch and kept the action tight, and Whittaker was forced to defend the takedown and try to counter in the moments he felt safe.
"I think suspensions are in order, I really do", Whittaker said, per Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole. In their first fight he attempted half as many strikes as Whittaker but landed them at a higher rate. "The Reaper" chopped away at the front leg of Romero. Romero went for a spinning backfist. Romero landed a jab followed by a left hand.
Romero looked to be more aggressive. He landed a number of shots to the body and head. Referee Dan Miraglotta watched closely, but Whittaker did enough to keep himself in the fight, trying to rise but being careful as he turtled not to take another concussive blow. Romero said the commission ended up giving him just one hour, not two, to cut to the weight limit, and he received no explanation for the shortened opportunity. Romero slipped on a spinning high kick in the final seconds, and both men celebrated at the final bell. Whittaker returned to his feet, but was dumped back down. It's a rematch of a contest from last July in which Whittaker (20-4) battled through a knee injury to eke out a unanimous 48-47 decision.