Robert Whittaker is the UFC Interim Middleweight Champion, and after UFC 213 presumably has a date with UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping.
Affectionately known as "Bobby Knuckles," Robert Whittaker became the first New Zealand-born Champion, by defeating Cuban Yoel Romero in the main event of Saturday's UFC 213 event. Whittaker injured his left leg in the first round, telling his corner in between rounds that it was hurt. Even hampered, Whittaker was able to defend takedowns from the Olympian, and won round three.
You can see an excerpt from our Fightful.com live coverage below.
Round Five: The round begins with Whittaker catching Romero with a left followed by front kicks, Whittaker catches Romero with a few more lefts as well. Whittaker then cracks Romero with a step in knee strike, Romero comes forward and swings away at Whittaker. Whittaker then cracks a swinging Romero with a two punch combination, Romero backs up Whittaker with a high kick attempt. Whittaker continues attacking Romero with a plethora of front kicks, Romero catches a swinging Whittaker with a counter left. The fighters just come forward and swing away at each other, Whittaker trips up a kicking Romero and he gets top position on the ground. Whittaker starts attacking Romero with some short range strikes, Whittaker transitions to the half guard position on Romero. Whittaker attacks Romero with some elbow strikes as the round ends.
Fightful scores the round 10-9 for Whittaker (Final Score: 49-46 for Whittaker)
Official Result: #3 Robert Whittaker def. #1 Yoel Romero by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) to win the UFC Interim Middleweight Title
The interim title was created after a planned fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre was canceled due to injuries that would sideline both men until the fall. The eventual title shot was later taken away from St-Pierre, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to keep the fight. Bisping has gained criticism due to his only title defense taking place against a retiring Dan Henderson last October.
Bisping was seen taunting Romero in between the second and third round, mocking the Cuban's cardio. Romero and Bisping had to be separated in the cage after the fight. Bisping later threw his title belt down in the cage and said "Take that, motherf--ker, and fight me for it!" to Whittaker.
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