After all the confusion about the UFC’s middleweight division over the last few weeks, we officially have some clarity now - and at least for the time being, the plan doesn’t involve current champion Michael Bisping or Georges St-Pierre. When talking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, UFC president Dana White confirmed that number one contender Yoel Romero will meet Robert Whittaker for an interim 185-pound title, and it’ll go down at UFC 213:
BREAKING: @danawhite tells me interim middleweight title fight between @YoelRomeroMMA and @RJWhittaker1990 will co-headline UFC 213.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 23, 2017
The UFC tweeted out confirmation of the bout a few minutes later.
Romero (13-1, 8-0 UFC) has been on the sidelines since November when he stopped former champ Chris Weidman with a devastating flying knee. Whittaker (18-4, 9-2 UFC) is 6-0 since he moved up to middleweight, most recently wrecking top contender Ronaldo Souza on a UFC on Fox show last month.
Originally Bisping was supposed to fight St-Pierre for the main title, but GSP wanting the fight late in the year and a Bisping injury led to the creation of this interim bout.
The Romero-Whittaker matchup will serve as the co-headliner of the night, with a women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko headlining the show.
UFC 213 goes down on July 8th in Las Vegas.