UFC 221 appears to be snakebitten. First hometown hero, and UFC Middleweight Champion, was forced to pull out of the main event due to a laundry list of bizarre injuries and ailments. Now his replacement, Yoel Romero, has badly missed weight.
Romero weighed in three pounds over the 185-pound weight limit, even after being given an extra two hours to lose the weight (188.3 pounds his first attempt, 187.7 two hours later), meaning he is ineligible to win the interim belt tonight. He will also forfeit 20% of his purse to his opponent, Luke Rockhold. So if Romero wins, no belt for him. However, if Rockhold prevails, he’ll still be declared the interim champ.
But, in the end, none of this really matters, as all an interim title fight really is is a #1 contender fight, so whether a fake title is on the line is irrelevant. However, it will mess with Romero’s money is he does win, as not only will be coughing up the fine to Rockhold (win or lose), but in his next fight he also won’t officially be a champ, so he’ll get less Reebok money and won’t get a cut of the pay-per-view revenues.
UFC 221 goes down tonight from Perth, Australia (where tonight is actually tomorrow morning).