UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker is set to defend the gold against Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 225.
The champion was set to compete for his native Australia as a freestyle wrestler in the Commonwealth games, but had to pull out of the event due to the upcoming title defense.
”The UFC wasn’t too happy with my competing in the Commonwealth Games,“ he said to MMA Fighting. “I was told I would have been stripped of the title if I had gotten injured. Everyone knows my priority. This (UFC) is my job. It’s not really a choice to be made. If it’s a choice, providing finances and putting food on the table and being paid for my job, or competing in the Commonwealth Games where I’m not making money, is there really a choice to be made? I thought for an hour or two, but there was never a choice to be made.”
For those who do not know what the Commonwealth Games are, it is sort of like a mini version of the Olympics, but only those countries in the British Commonwealth are allowed to compete.
Whittaker is able to compete in the 2020 version of the Commonwealth Games if he chooses, but the champion is focused on MMA at the moment.
”I haven’t really given it much thought,” he said. “My priority is MMA. That’s what my focus and passion and where my dedication is.”
UFC 225 takes place on Saturday, June 9 from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois with Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.