Shame on Yoel Romero.
As a former Olympic wrestler, Romero shouldn’t be having trouble making weight. The 41-year-old Cuban failed to hit the middleweight championship mark of 185 on Friday, and came in just over on his second attempt.
So, for the second consecutive fight, Romero will be in a planned championship bout without the opportunity to claim the title.
Saturday’s UFC 225 main event between champion Robert Whittaker and Romero is moving ahead, with non-title fight status over five rounds. Whittaker’s belt will not be on the line and Romero was fined for coming in at 185.2 pounds his second chance on the scale.
Regardless of the minor amount of weight, or what really happened backstage between the Illinois Athletic Commission, Romero, his team and the UFC, this is inexcusable.
Earlier this year, Romero weighed in at 187.7 pounds for a fight with Luke Rockhold for the interim belt. The bout went ahead, with only Rockhold eligible for the title. Romero won via third round knockout.
Romero, who won silver in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, shouldn’t be having these troubles. Yes, he is older now, but he’s an experienced athlete when it comes to cutting weight. He fought on the national wrestling scene for years before transitioning into MMA.
On Saturday night from the United Center, one of two things will happen. Whittaker will handle Romero, dealing him a second loss in the series and allowing him to move on to the next challenge.
Or Romero will derail the New Zealand fighter and force the UFC to make a decision.
Allow Romero a third chance at UFC gold? Or really punish him for missing weight by pushing him down the line of contenders.
With UFC president Dana White taking a tough-love approach as of late, it could be to the back of the list for Romero no matter what.