On Saturday, June 9, the UFC returned to the Windy City, hosting UFC 224: Whittaker vs. Romero 2 from the United Center in Chicago.
In the night’s main event, the promotion’s middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, faced a familiar face, Yoel Romero, in a non-title bout after the Cuban missed weight for the scheduled title affair. The pair met last July at UFC 213 with Whittaker claiming the interim title via decision. “Bobby Knuckles” was later promoted to undisputed champion after Georges St-Pierre relinquished the belt. Romero, meanwhile, rebounded by defeating former champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in February. In a total five-round war, Whittaker, with a broken hand, took the split decision.
Gold was on the line in the co-main event as former lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos clashed with Colby Covington for the interim welterweight strap. The Brazilian dos Anjos had yet to taste defeat in the 170-pound division, while Covington rode a four-fighting winning streak into the match-up. After a grinding battle, with Covington applying a ton of pressure for all five rounds, the American picked up the nod from the judges and walked away with the interim belt.
Check here for full results.Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) – for interim welterweight title
Holly Holm def. Megan Anderson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Tai Tuivasa def. Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Mike Jackson def. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks by unanimous decision (30-26 x 3)
Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 2:56
Claudia Gadelha def. Carla Esparza by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Mirsad Bektic def. Ricardo Lamas by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Chris De La Rocha def. Rashad Coulter by TKO (punches). Round 2, 3:53
Anthony Smith def. Rashad Evans by KO (knee). Round 1, 0:53
Sergio Pettis def. Joseph Benavidez by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Charles Oliveira def. Clay Guida by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 2:18
Dan Ige def. Mike Santiago by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:50