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Morning Report: Yoel Romero says he’s going to challenge for middleweight title against Robert Whittaker at UFC 225

It looks like Yoel Romero will be getting his chance for revenge against UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

Romero and Whittaker previously fought for the interim middleweight championship at UFC 213, with Whittaker edging out a decision in a competitive five-round affair. When Georges St-Pierre vacated the undisputed middleweight belt after defeating Michael Bisping last fall, Whittaker was promoted to the undisputed champion and set to defend his belt against Luke Rockhold at UFC 213. An injury then forced Whittaker out of the bout, at which point Romero stepped in on short notice and knocked out Rockhold to put himself back in line for another crack at Whittaker.

Well, according to Romero, it worked. During a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, Romero claimed that he will be challenging Whittaker for the middleweight title when the UFC heads to Chicago for UFC 22 this summer.

“Let’s just wait until June 9th,” Romero said when asked how a rematch with Whittaker would look.

While the bout hasn’t officially been announced by the UFC, all signs point to the rematch headlining UFC 225, with ESPN having reported the news last week, and UFC President Dana White having said Whittaker-Romero 2 was the fight to make next.

And despite having come up short the first time around, Romero will be entering this title fight with complete confidence. Romero said that in defeat he learned some things about fighting that he then trained with former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and everyone saw the fruits of those labors with his brutal knockout of Luke Rockhold.

“After the [Whittaker] fight, my manager said that when he saw me I had a big smile on my face,” said Romero. “I was very happy. I didn’t take that loss as serious as I should have. [I was happy because] I learned. And now you see what happened with Luke Rockhold. I learned about timing.

“Listen, people talk about my ‘gas’ but it wasn’t easy to fight Luke Rockhold. I went to Albuquerque with Jon Jones and I learned something. They controlled my attacks, so I learned when to attack. If you go, go, go, you will get tired. So I had to learn to pace myself. I don’t have a problem with five rounds now.”

UFC 225 will take place on June 9 in the United Center in Chicago, Illinois with confirmed bouts between Alistair Overeem and Curtis Blaydes, Joseph Benavidez and Sergio Pettis, and Claudia Gadelha and Carla Esparza.


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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Once more unto the breach.

Cyborg maybe?

Amazing day for alot of different reasons. Excited for what’s in store.

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megana_mma) on

Ambitions.

Statement.

Want to say sorry to everyone who was tuning to watch me fight for this setback. I was at 100% healthy and ready to strangle everyone in this division once again, but I fractured my hand in an unlucky training accident. I stayed in the fight and would have done it with one hand easy, but unfortunately I couldn’t get medically cleared and had to step out. Thanks to all of you for the ongoing support, and rest assured to the Jimmy Show will be back soon enough to clear out all of these bums. I’m going to be ready for #bellator200 in London in may. Who wants to see me on it ? @bellatormma

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There’s a non-zero chance Leslie Smith becomes one of the most important fighters ever.

Not quite the big announcement most were expecting but still, good for DJ.

Make it happen.

Gokhan coming back.

Soon big news. Büyük Haber Yakında. #ufc #mma #boxing #kickboxing #rp #repost #tur #turkiye #istanbul #lasvegas #la #usa #fighter #fighting #ko #knockouts #picoftheday #dutchie #fitdutchies #rotterdam #thenetherlands #germany #champion #champ #1 #paparazzi

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Feels like a lifetime since Mendes has fought.

Almost time for “Money” to get back in the mix! @chadmendes TAM 10 yr plus club

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The irony is strong.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ben Henderson (24-8) vs. Roger Huerta (24-9-1, 1 NC); Bellator 196, April 6.

Brian Kelleher (19-8) vs. John Lineker (30-8); UFC 224, May 12.

Thales Leites (27-8) vs. Jack Harmansson (16-4); UFC 224, May 12.

Rashad Evans (19-7-1) vs. Anthony Smith (28-13); UFC 225, June 9.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

1998: UFC 16 took place featuring the first ever lightweight tournament (170 pounds and under). The tournament was won by Pat Miletich. In the main event, Frank Shamrock successfully defended his middleweight title with a 22 second knockout slam of Igor Zinoviev.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

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