Yoel Romero steps in for Robert Whittaker at UFC 221 in Perth
Yoel Romer up against Luke Rockhold headlines UFC 221 in Perth / Pic: Facebook

Luke Rockhold faces Yoel Romero for interim middleweight title at UFC 221 in Perth

UFC 221 takes place at Perth Arena on Sunday February 11. The Pay-Per-View event is a debut of Ultimate Fighting Championship in Western Australia with over 14.000 people expected at the venue.

The fight card has recently suffered a change when the main event fighter, Australian UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw due to injury. He is replaced by the No.1 contender Yoel Romero of Cuba, who took the opportunity to challenge for the interim belt, going up against the former champion in the division American Luke Rockhold.

The bout against Rockhold is the second chance for Romero to earn the title in the middleweight class. Last July he battled out against Whittaker at UFC 213, facing a defeat by decision.

“Due to several significant injuries suffered recently, current middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, has been ruled medically unable to compete in the championship bout at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia,” says UFC statement. “Former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, will now face the #1 contender, Yoel Romero, for the UFC interim middleweight title. Romero has defeated eight out of his last nine opponents, which includes top-ranked athletes such as Chris Weidman, Jacare Souza and Lyoto Machida.”

The co-main event at UFC 221 is a heavyweight battle between Mark Hunt and Curtis Baydes. The updated fight card can be found below.

UFC 221 fight card

Main card
Middleweight Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold
Heavyweight Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes
Heavyweight Tai Tuivasa vs. Cyril Asker
Welterweight Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang
Light Heavyweight Tyson Pedro vs. Saparbek Safarov

Preliminary Card
Lightweight Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Middleweight Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya
Lightweight Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy
Flyweight Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen

Early Prelims
Lightweight Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota
Bantamweight Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez
Welterweight Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe