A crisis-hit UFC 213 event ended on a high as Australian Robert Whittaker fought through the pain barrier to outpoint Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero and capture the interim UFC middleweight title in Las Vegas.

The bout was promoted to the main event spot after women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes withdrew from her headlining title fight with Valentina Shevchenko just hours before the start of the event due to illness.

Whittaker rose to the occasion with a superb display of heart and courage to defeat former Olympic wrestler Romero and set up a unification bout with British world champion Michael Bisping.

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