Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero UFC 225 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/9/18
Romero vs. Whittaker
UFC: Saturday, June 9, 2018 (United Center)
The Line: Romero +170 / Whittaker -200 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero fight Saturday during UFC 225 at the United Center.
Robert Whittaker enters this fight with a 20-4 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Whittaker has won each of his last eight fights and is coming off a July win over Yoel Romero. Whittaker is averaging 4.77 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Whittaker is averaging 0.44 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 44.4 percent. Whittaker has taken some serious time off since winning the UFC Middleweight Championship, as the 27-year-old usually fights two or three times a year, and it’s 11 months since we’ve seen him in the octagon. In the first meeting between these two, Whittaker survived four takedowns and landed 74 significant strikes. Whittaker still hasn’t lost since his 2014 bout against Stephen Thompson. Whittaker has shown time and time again that while he’s not at his best on the canvas, he’s disciplined enough and has enough of a wrestling background to survive in the deep waters. Three of Whittaker’s last five fights have ended in decision, but he’s still that hard, aggressive striker who can end things at any second if one shot lands clean. Whittaker’s confidence should be through the roof based on how his last fight went. This will be Whittaker’s first career fight in Chicago.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Yoel Romero enters this fight with a 13-2 record and has won 85 percent of his fights by knockout. Romero has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a February win over Luke Rockhold. Romero is averaging 3.06 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 52.1 percent. Romero is averaging 1.87 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 32.6 percent. Romero got a quick fight under his belt a few months ago in which he landed 45 significant strikes and produced a third round knockout. Each of Romero’s last nine fights have seen at least the third round, and the fact he’s won eight of those bouts and is 41 years old, it really speaks to the level and conditioning this guy has been at in his career. Romero is still a highly respected striker who has 11 knockouts under his belt, but he’s also one of the more accomplished wrestlers in the sport and has now produced 17 takedowns on the UFC level. Romero usually gets the fight where he wants it and has a nasty ground and pound attack. Few want to be on the canvas with the Soldier of God given his lengthy wrestling background. Romero is also still quite athletic for his age and is creative with his strikes, so standing up, watch out for a flying knee or a quick elbow. This will be Romero’s first career fight in Chicago.
I picked Romero in the first fight because of his takedown ability and the fact he should be able to control the fight. Well, he had four takedowns and actually landed more strikes, but he wasn’t given the victory. I am a bit concerned with the fact Whittaker has been out of the octagon for 11 months, as this is still a young guy who is used to staying active. However, as long as rust isn’t an issue, he should win this fight. The fact Whittaker was able to survive four takedowns and out strike a knockout artist has to give him a ton of confidence. He’s survived Romero’s best weapon multiple times while managing to land massive blows, earning him the nod.
Whittaker made a believer out of me, so I’m backing him to win the rematch.