UFC 221 has been hit with a massive swap, as the promotion’s announced that middleweight champ Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from the card’s headlining bout with Luke Rockhold. As a result, Yoel Romero will step in to face the former champ, and the fight will be for an interim title.
The announcement states that Whittaker has “several, significant, injuries”. In addition, it included these comments from the champ:
“I’m beyond disappointed that I’m unable to defend the title in my home country of Australia. I hope the fans enjoy what should be a great night of fights at UFC 221 and I look forward to a recovery as soon as possible that will have me back in the Octagon to face the winner of the main event.”
Romero, who had been expected to fight David Branch on February 28th, is coming off a decision loss to Whittaker in July.
So, this is clearly huge news, and a big hit for Australian fans. Hopefully Whittaker isn’t sidelined for too long. But, Rockhold – Romero probably won’t be too shabby right?
UFC 221 will go down in Perth, Australia on February 10th.