MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Whittaker vs. Romero Official For UFC 225

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There are a couple new fight announcments to report on today, including a middleweight title bout between champ Robert Whittaker and challenger Yoel Romero. Here are the new fights, along with my initial thoughts on the bouts.

Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Cooper, UFC 224

MMABrasil has reported a women’s strawweight bout between Mackenzie Dern and Amanda Cooper is slated for UFC 224. The card takes place May 12 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dern (6-0) just picked up a split decision win over Ashley Yoder in her UFC debut, and it’s a good sign that she is willing to take another fight so quick. Cooper (3-3) is 2-2 overall in the UFC and just picked up a TKO win over Angela Magana in her last fight. She has been prone to submissions throughtout her career so far and that’s obviously not a good thing going against Dern. Even though Dern didn’t look great against Yoder, I would still expect her to be a big favorite heading into this bout.

Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero, UFC 225

The UFC made official the main event for UFC 225, which is a middleweight title bout between champ Robert Whittaker and challenger Yoel Romero. The card takes place June 9 at United Center in Chicago, IL. originally broke the news. This is a rematch of the pair’s bout at UFC 213, which Whittaker won via unanimous decision. Whittaker (19-4) is 10-2 in the UFC and has won eight fights in a row. He’s looked amazing as a middleweight and his win over Romero won him the interim belt, which later transferred into the undisputed belt when Georges St-Pierre retired. Whittaker was supposed to fight Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 but injuries pushed him out of the bout, and this will be his first title defense. Romero (13-2) is 9-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a KO win over Luke Rockhold that got him this title shot. He missed weight for that bout, but still earned a title shot in a shalllow division. Though he’s 40 years of age, he’s been looking great lately. The odds are going to be close for this one but considering Whittaker’s inactivity, Romero may be a worthwhile look here if he’s a decent-sized dog.

Henry Briones vs. Frankie Saenz, UFC Fight Night 129

Two new bouts have been added to UFC Fight Night 129, which takes place May 19 at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. The first is a bantamweight bout between Henry Briones and Frankie Saenz. Briones (16-7-1) has lost three-straight fights and is clinging to a job in the UFC. The Mexican is 37 and he’s 1-3 overall in the UFC. He doesn’t seem like a great fighter and can’t be expected to do much more in the UFC. Saenz (12-5) was coming off of three-straight losses but saved his job in the UFC with a split decision win in his last outing. He is 4-3 overall in the UFC, with a notable upset win over Iuri Alcantara. Though Saenz is 37 as well, he appears to be fighting at a higher clip than Briones, and I expect Saenz to be a solid favorite heading into this bout.

Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes, UFC Fight Night 129

And finally, a light heavyweight matchup was also booked for UFC Fight Night 129 featuring Jared Cannonier taking on Dominick Reyes. Cannonier (10-3) is just 3-3 and is coming off of a decision loss to Jan Blachowicz. He’s shown solid skills at certain points in his career but has lost two of his last three fights and seems to be on the way down. Reyes (8-0) is an incredible light heavyweight prospect. He’s 2-0 in the UFC already with two finishes and at just 28 is in his prime. Cannonier had a nice run for a while but Reyes looks like a future champion in the light heavyweight division. I expect Reyes to be a solid favorite heading into this fight.

Written by Adam Martin.

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