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Report: UFC Considering Romero vs. Whittaker Interim Title Bout

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The UFC’s middleweight division is a disaster.

Since winning the title with a shocking knockout victory over Luke Rockhold last June at UFC 199 in California, current champion Michael Bisping has only defended his strap once, scoring a decision victory over Dan Henderson in a highly criticized booking last October at UFC 204 in his hometown of Manchester, England.

Earlier this year, UFC President Dana White announced that instead of taking on top contender Yoel Romero, Bisping would next defend his title against returning former welterweight king Georges St. Pierre. St. Pierre hasn’t competed since scoring a controversial decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in 2013 and he has never competed at middleweight, although he remains a well-known name in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Recently, however, “Rush” said he wouldn’t be available to fight until next fall, leading White to call off the bout. Bisping then made things even more difficult, revealing that he was still suffering from a knee injury that would keep him on the sidelines for the coming months as well.

Because of these issues, White admitted that the promotion is considering booking an interim title bout between Romero and No. 3-ranked Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker:

“We’re trying to put together that Bisping-Romero fight,” White told ESPN.com. “If [Bisping] can’t fight this summer, we’ll probably create an interim title between Romero and Robert Whittaker.”

It’s currently unclear when a potential interim title fight would take place.

Romero is riding an incredible eight fight win streak, with six of those victories coming by way of stoppage. “The Solider of God” holds notable victories over Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and he’s coming off of a vicious flying knee stoppage of former champion Chris Weidman.

The 26-year-old Whittaker, on the other hand, is riding a seven fight win streak of his own, with four of those victories coming by way of stoppage. “The Reaper” most recently scored an upset victory over “Jacare” at UFC on FOX 24 in Kansas City this past April.

Booking an interim title fight between these two contenders certainly makes quite a bit of sense, especially if Bisping is going to be out of action for the foreseeable future. It will also likely invigorate the disgruntled middleweight division, as numerous contenders have voiced their displeasure with not only the state of the division, but the UFC’s recent matchmaking as well.

As far as St. Pierre goes, his future is a bit a cloudy at the moment. White, however, said that the Canadian star will likely compete for the welterweight title once he makes his long awaited return to the Octagon:

“[St-Pierre] says he will fight whoever the 170-pound champion is when he comes back,” White said.

Do you still expect a bout between Bisping and St. Pierre to take place and are you content with the UFC making an interim 185-pound title?

  • Juan Diablo

    Why interim? Just strip Bisping, and GDR while we are at it, for refusing to fight the top challenger in their weight class

  • Murdock

    It’s a bit bulls**t since Rockhold and Mousasi are far more deserving of a title shot than Whitaker is.

    • aFriendlyAgenda

      Its not even a flucking title shot

      Its more interim belt horseisht

      They might as well let cm punk fight for that

      • Murdock

        is that why Barao defended the interim title against the top fighters while Cruz was out. the interim belt has the same merit as the real title!

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    Ghey

    Letting Bisping get away with that again is exactly the reason nobody has an respect for ufc-img right now

    And why they dont deserve any

    All this shiesty bullisht makes mma less fun

  • David Twardy

    i like it

  • David Twardy

    Rumour is the Romero vs Whitaker fight will be co main of 215 in Seattle aug 19th. The main event being DJ vs Dillashaw for the title defence record. But what this all really means is it’ll be my 4th live event each in a different city.

  • David Twardy

    There are 20 some odd title fights a year, there are around 45-50 events a year. I don’t watch for titles I watch for good match ups. Titles are a good thing for the fighters, they don’t do much for me as a fan, Is a fight going to be better because there is belt at the end? They should scrap the belts and just hand the winner of every fight one of those giant golf cheques for 50k.