Well, the biggest card of the year so far was bound to have something happen to it during fight week. And what was most likely to happen did as Yoel Romero (13-2) failed to make weight for his middleweight title rematch fight against current champion Robert Whittaker (20-4). Romero came in one pound over weight and had two hours to lose that pound and failed to do so. The fight now in jeopardy of even happening as Whittaker has made it clear that he does not want to fight someone that couldn’t make weight.
Luckily for the stacked Chicago card, there are many other matchups to focus on, one being the co-main event of the night, trash talking Colby Covington (13-1) versus Rafael Dos Anjos (28-9) for the welterweight interim title fight. The fight was originally supposed to go down in Brazil, but was moved to the Chicago card for the safety of Covington. And he has made it very clear there is no love loss between he and Dos Anjos or frankly anyone that doubts him at this point in his career. “I don’t see anything in (Ralfie) that presents a new challenge to me that I haven’t seen before in the gym,” explained Covington. “I train in the greatest gym in the world, ATT. So, you know RDA is not going present any problems that I haven’t seen before in the gym.” Aside from beating Covington, Dos Anjos has his eyes set on a bigger prize for himself tomorrow night as well. “It means a lot and I’m about to make history,” said Dos Anjos. I’m about to be among the very few that have two belts and I’m you know my folks been trading hard and to get my second belt and make history. That’s my goal.”
Former Invicta FC featherweight champion, Megan Anderson (8-2) will also make her UFC debut on the main card of UFC 225 facing former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm (11-4). Holm has lost four of her last five fights since taking the title from Ronda Rousey back at UFC 193 and a loss against Anderson could put her career in the UFC in question.
Another career that may be coming to an end is former UFC heavyweight champion Andre Arlovski (27-15, 1NC) but not before he takes on undefeated fighter, Tai Tuivasa (9-0). It’s been thirteen years since Arlovski won the title and he has his hands full for sure as all of Tuivasa’s wins have come by first round knockouts.
Kicking off the main card is fight that has drawn a lot controversy due the fact that most think it shouldn’t be a Pay-Per-View fight at all. But it is and CM Punk and Mike Jackson, both 0-1 and both at the hand of Mikey Gall will fight to win over the crowd, win over the press and to get their literal first professional win in the UFC.
And of that wasn’t enough the Prelims on FS1 has Alistair Overeem facing Chicago native, Curtis Blaydes, Claudia Gadelha will take on Carla Esparza, Ricardo Lamas squares off with Mirsad Bektic and if you still need more to watch before that the UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims showcases former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans versus Anthony Smith, #1 ranked flyweight Joseph Benavidez meeting Sergio Pettis and first son of Chicago, Clay Guida locking horns with Charles Oliveira.
On paper this is every MMA’s fan dream card. With future hall of famers on the card to up and coming fighters that will surely be champions in the near future, if UFC 225 can deliver like its supposed to do, it may be just what MMA and the UFC need right now in a time where big money fights and oversaturation has seemed to take over the Monday morning water cooler talks. This is a card worth buying and having an old school, call your friends over and watch some fights kind of night. And with little drama attached to this card, don’t we deserve a card like that. Yes we do. Yes, we sure do.
UFC 225: Whittaker vs Romero 2, takes place on Saturday, June 9th from the United Center in Chicago, IL and is live on Pay-Per-View 10pm ET/7pm PT.
Photo credit: UFC