The UFC confirmed today that No.1 Yoel Romero (12-2-0) will replace injured undisputed welterweight champion Robert Whittaker (19-4-0) and fight former champ Luke Rockhold (16-3-0) for the interim welterweight crown instead at UFC 221.
Whittaker took to his social media accounts to apologize to the fans for pulling out of UFC 221.
“I’m beyond disappointed that I’m unable to defend the title in my home country of Australia,” Whittaker said. “I hope the fans enjoy what should be a great night of fights at UFC 221 and I look forward to a recovery as soon as possible that will have me back in the Octagon to face the winner of the main event.”
Romero, 40, had a eight-fight win streak snapped by Whittaker at UFC 213.
— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) January 13, 2018
Fans have the option to request refunds of purchased tickets at the point of sale.
The UFC has not yet confirmed a new opponent for David Branch at UFC on FOX 28 in February.
UFC 221 is scheduled for Feb. 11 in Perth, Australia. Current bouts include:
Yoel Romero (12-2-0) vs. Luke Rockhold (16-3-0)
Jake Matthews (11-3-0) vs. Jingliang Li (14-4-0)
Israel Adesanya (11-0-0) v.s Rob Wilkinson (11-1-0)
Jeremy Kennedy (11-0-0) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (16-1-0)
Luke Juneau (12-4-0) vs. Daichi Abe (8-0-0)
Damien Brown (17-11-0) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3)
Mark Hunt (13-11-1, 1NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (9-1-0, 1NC)
Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2) vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez (6-2-0)
Cyril Asker (9-3-0) vs. Tai Tuivasa (6-0-0)
Jussier da Silva (20-5-0) vs. Ben Nguyen (16-6-0)
Tyson Pedro (6-1-0) vs. Saparbek Saparov (8-1-0)
Ross Pearson (19-14-0) vs. Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2)