UFC 213 Results: Robert Whittaker Just Barely Beats Yoel Romero For The Interim UFC Middleweight Title

A year ago, the UFC middleweight division was thrown into total flux when Michael Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold on just days of notice to win the middleweight title. Bisping defended his belt against the somewhat deserving Dan Henderson in his retirement fight, but since then has gone dark, recovering from injuries and waiting for a fight with GSP. It didn’t sit well with fans.

Meanwhile, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero have been tearing through the elite middleweight ranks. They’ve decimated what is the deepest division in the UFC, and absolutely deserve to be fighting for the interim title. Hell, you could say this is for the real title, because few would call Bisping the favorite in a fight with either of these monsters. Just look at Romero staring down Bisping before the fight began:

And it wasn’t just the title on the line. If Yoel Romero won, he would become the first Cuban champ in UFC history. Whittaker would become the first Australian champ. A lot was on the line and in the end Robert Whittaker just barely took gold.

The first round was typical of Romero — he would bounce around and float like a heavenly tank, but Whittaker was defending the stiff takedowns. Towards the end of the first though, Whittaker seemed to start limping and it was pointed out that the top of his foot was bleeding. Both men were picking their spots and clashing like two dump trucks playing chicken.

Between rounds, Whittaker told his corner that his “left leg was trashed” but it was hard to tell if Romero knew it. Whittaker disguised the injury well, throwing a good amount of kicks with the power as his nose poured blood. Then, a kick led to a Romero takedown.

Round three started with Whittaker pressuring and landing some shots on the dancing Romero, who looked to be picking his shots. In fact, you could say Romero dominated round three. Romero was trying to pace himself and he might’ve been down two rounds to one.

Between rounds, Bisping tore up Cuban flag and Romero looked tired as hell. In round four, Romero is exhausted and throwing desperation takedowns while Whittaker makes him pay. It very well could be tied 2-2 going into the fifth. Whittaker is looking fresher than Romero, who is gasping for air.

Round five has both men knowing that they have to do something to win. They’re matching shots, and both are gassed. It’s dig down deep time. Whittaker hits a knee that cuts Romero, while Romero lands multiple heavy shots upside Whittaker’s head. My God.

The round ends with Whittaker on top of a bloodied Romero with both of them doing whatever they can to just gather enough energy to finish the fight strong. Whittaker lands heavy elbows, while Romero just survives.

As the judge’s scorecards are being added up, Romero and Bisping get into it AGAIN, then the decision is read: all three judges score the fight 48-47 Robert Whittaker. The first Australian UFC champion in history. Incredible fight and Bisping is in deep, deep trouble.