The card, which is one of the most stacked the promotion has had in some time if all goes off according to plan (that is, everyone makes weight) takes place at United Center in Chicago.
In the end, it was Whittaker he did enough to take the win via split decision, 47-48, 48-47 and 48-47. The Australian fighter has not fought since then.
"The first round, I busted my hand", Whittaker said. Romero seemed to have a quick takedown, but Whittaker knew he couldn't stay there, crawling to his feet and working the clinch until the bell. However, in a close fight, volume has a favorable effect on the judges' scorecards.
Given that he was competing for the UFC belt, he had to make "championship weight" of 185lbs or under. That suggests there is potential for a stoppage.
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The co-main event of the card features a battle for the UFC interim welterweight championship, with No. 3 contender Colby Covington battling No. 2 Rafael dos Anjos as a narrow betting favourite. He kept landing leg kicks.
As well, former WWE superstar CM Punk makes his first octagon appearance in nearly two years as he takes on fellow welterweight Mike Jackson as a plus-175 underdog, while Holly Holm vies for a second win in six fights as she takes on Megan Anderson as a minus-225 favourite in a clash of women's featherweights. The powerful but inexperienced-with-grappling Anderson, at 6-foot tall to Holm's 5-foot-8, will come in with a significant reach advantage and that might help her with wearing down Holm. Battle-tested veteran Andrei Arlovski (27-15) meets up-and-comer Tai Tuivasa (9-0) in an intriguing heavyweight matchup. Soldier of God ultimately won that bout via third-round knockout. Expect little retreating in what should be a terrific action fight.
Punk's fight is actually scheduled to open tonight's event.