Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker interim middleweight title fight set for UFC 213

The UFC will crown a new interim middleweight champion on July 8 in Las Vegas.

No. 1 ranked contender Yoel Romero will meet Robert Whittaker in a battle at 185-pounds as the new co-main event at UFC 213 with the winner being crowned the new interim champion.

UFC officials announced the news on Tuesday.

The news comes after current middleweight champion Michael Bisping revealed a nagging knee injury that would keep him on the sidelines for a few more months. Bisping last defended his title in October 2016 and from the sound of things he wasn’t expected to return until the latter half of the year.

It’s also been long rumored that the UFC was trying to bolster the pay-per-view card taking place at the end of International Fight Week in Las Vegas and this fight will certainly fit the bill.

Romero (13-1) will get his first shot at UFC gold after tearing through the middleweight division with a perfect 8-0 record inside the Octagon. The former silver medalist from the Olympics most recently dispatched former champion Chris Weidman to earn his title shot.

Whittaker (18-4) has also gone undefeated as a middleweight in the UFC with six straight wins, including a stunning knockout over former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in his last fight.

Romero and Whittaker will join the UFC 213 card, which also features the main event for the women’s bantamweight title fight as current champion Amanda Nunes and top ranked contender Valentina Shevchenko.