- The history of younger fighters in a rematch vs. an older opponent they previously defeated indicates a slightly lower win probability for Robert Whittaker compared to what current Vegas odds imply.
- Yoel Romero demonstrated a different — and potentially more effective — fight strategy in his last match that featured less reliance on takedowns.
- Romero has never been a larger underdog in his UFC career, while Bobby Knuckles has been a larger favorite on only one other occasion since moving up to middleweight.
The UFC middleweight title is up for grabs Saturday night at UFC 225 in Chicago, where champion Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker will make his first defense against Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero. Whittaker won the pair’s first bout at UFC 213 by unanimous decision, but Romero quickly earned a rematch after finishing No. 2 contender Luke Rockhold in February.
Whittaker won the first meeting despite suffering a left knee injury roughly 60 seconds into the first round, but Romero possesses freaky one-shot knockout power that has helped finish seven of his 10 UFC opponents.
Let’s break down some of the matchup’s biggest questions and attempt to find some value with the odds.
Robert Whittaker -220 vs. Yoel Romero +190 (Bovada)
Chael Sonnen has often voiced his opinion on anything and everything related to MMA, including rematches between two fighters in which the younger fighter won the first bout: