It might not be against Michael Bisping, but Yoel Romero has his title shot.
The Cuban will face Robert Whittaker for an interim middleweight title in the co-main event of UFC 213 on July 8. The news was first reported by Brett Okamoto.
The decision comes after it emerged that Bisping’s knee was still recovering from a surgery he had earlier this year, and the Brit stating that he wouldn’t be able to fight until October this year. With the division on hold, the UFC made the call to create an interim belt.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 23, 2017
The middleweight division has had a tumultuous time of late. Earlier this year, the UFC announced that Bisping would defend his title against the returning Georges St-Pierre, and had the two face off at a press conference in Vegas.
But, after St-Pierre stated that he had various commitments that would keep him out of the cage until October, UFC president Dana White cancelled that fight. With Romero having previously cemented himself as the number one contender by defeating Chris Weidman at UFC 205, it seemed a foregone conclusion that he would be booked against the champion.
With the severity of Bisping’s injury coming to light, however, the UFC instead elected to book Romero – Whittaker at UFC 213, giving the Summer card a huge boost.