After a string of PPV cards that were decimated by injury and weight issues — and yes, dollies — UFC 225 has made it to the finish line intact … for the most part.
One of the biggest PPV cards from top to bottom reaches Chicago on Saturday, June 9, when middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on Yoel Romero in the main event — a rematch of their bout from last July. The two battled to a grueling decision over a 25-minute slugfest at UFC 213 with Whittaker earning a unanimous victory.
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On Friday, Romero struggled to make weight for their title rematch, coming in 0.2 pounds over the 185-pound limit on his second attempt on the scale. Despite the small gap, UFC president Dana White confirmed the fight will still go on, but Whittaker’s belt will not be on the line. Both fighters were frustrated at the ceremonial weigh ins — Whittaker because of Romero missing, and Romero because he didn’t think the Illinois State Commission gave him enough time.
While that fight promises to deliver inside the cage, it’s other bouts on the card that are making waves outside. Namely, the man who has seemingly talked his way into a title shot: Colby Covington. The No. 3 ranked welterweight in the division will battle Rafael dos Anjos in an interim 170-pound title fight as he continues to push his no press is bad press style. The winner will likely get the next crack at current titleholder Tyron Woodley.
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Dos Anjos is coming off an incredible performance when he earned a decision win over former 170-pound king Robbie Lawler. Covington earned a decision win over Brazilian legend Demian Maia in Maia’s backyard in October.
UFC’s return to the Windy City also brings the return of former WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks to the Octagon when he faces off with Mike Jackson in his hometown. Punk lost his professional debut in MMA at UFC 203 when he was submitted by Mickey Gall.
In the unlikeliest of early prelim fights, top flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez will look to make his return to the Octagon in a showcase fight, and potential title eliminator, against Sergio Pettis. While neither fighter is happy about the bout’s placement, they understand how crucial a win on Saturday could be.
There are now 13 fights official for the Windy City. Here’s a look at the fight card and order of bouts for Chicago.