UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker's bout against Yoel Romero was reduced to non-title status after the challenger twice failed to make the weight.
Technically, the five-round fight wasn't even for Whittaker's title, because Romero missed weight by two-tenths of a pound during Friday's official weigh-in.
Romero (13-2), meanwhile, was sharp in his last outing on February 10, knocking out former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold with a crushing left hand.
Whittaker-Romero still should be a scintillating headliner. However, Romero is no longer eligible to win the title. Covington ran his win streak to six straight fights while securing a presumptive unification bout with champion Tyron Woodley, while dos Anjos suffered his first defeat since going 3-0 to start his UFC welterweight run. The main event is positioned on top of arguably the most exciting card of action the UFC have put together this year. Romero then exploded in the third, landing a left and bringing down the champ.
Romero landed several other strikes, but Whittaker survived and landed a few of his own in an epic round. I thought I controlled three of the five rounds, but he did drop me. What has become par for the course with Romero saw the Cuban fight in spurts in an effort to conserve energy.
In the opener on the main card, welterweight Mike Jackson (-200) is favored against CM Punk (+170) in a matchup that is as blank a slate as it gets, due to each man's inexperience in UFC.
Holly Holm (-210) is favored against UFC debutante Megan Anderson (+180) in what amounts to a women's featherweight title eliminator. Jackson peppered Punk (0-2) with punches to the face throughout the fight and won in a lacklustre unanimous decision. However, in a close fight, volume has a favorable effect on the judges' scorecards.