With a gutsy performance at UFC 225, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker’s status as an elite mixed martial artist cannot be denied.Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC)went five grueling rounds with Yoel Romeroover the weekend in Chicago and won their non-title rematch via split decision. Whittaker’s belt wasn’t on the line after Romero (13-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) missed weight by .2 pounds, but nonetheless the two men still battled in the pay-per-view headliner and produced a “Fight of the Year” candidate at United Center in Chicago. Even more impressive is the fact that Whittaker suffered a broken hand early in the fight. Whittaker now has won nine fights in a row and, as a result, vaults to the top of the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings and makes a huge leap in the pound-for-pound list. Check out all the divisions above.For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, check out theMMA Rumorssection of the site.