Though he ended up on the losing end of the decision, Romero felt he had done enough damage to win the fight, and question the athletic commission for stopping his weight cut on Friday, believing it cost him the belt.
"We came here to fight for the title", Romero said after the ceremonial weigh-ins, where he received a chorus of boos from the local crowd "I came here for the title fight".
Romero started the third frame with desperation coursing through his veins, attacking wildly, and it worked. Whittaker regained control in the fourth, but Romero landed a hard left and right late in the round. But Whittaker would manage to escape with his title despite a fifth round that could have been scored 10-8, but wasn't by any of the three judges, and impacted the two scorecards that were 48-47 for Whittaker and the one that was 48-47 for Romero. Now that he is on the sidelines working more and more with FOX Sports, the former UFC middleweight champion remains that way. And WWE superstar CM Punk (0-1) makes his return after a disappointing UFC debut in 2016. Holly Holm (12-4), former bantamweight champ, was impressive with her pound and ground game beating Megan Anderson (8-3) in a unanimous decision.