It appears that Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will get his wish and not have to fight Yoel Romero again, as the Cuban’s manager confirmed that the middleweight star will seek new challenges in the 205 pound division.
The 41 year-old Romero has missed weight for his last two fights, first against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia for the interim middleweight title in February and again last month against undisputed middleweight champ Whittaker at UFC 225. Romero’s failure to make weight for that fight rendered it a non-title affair.
Romero’s manager, Malki Kawa, was a guest on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and confirmed the “Soldier of God” was originally offered a fight with light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 on August 4 before it was awarded to Volkan Oezdemir.
“So we are talking to UFC about him moving up to light heavyweight. And I think what we’re going to propose to them, well to be honest they offered us the Gustafsson fight and we accepted it,” Kawa revealed. “But Gustafsson needed to fight in August and Yoel wanted to fight later because he has to have surgery, he broke his orbital. So there are talks for him to fight at light heavyweight.”
Kawa went out on a limb and told Helwani that his preference is to have Romero’s debut at 205 pounds against champion Daniel Cormier, who became only the second simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history when he defeated Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title last Saturday.
“So I was looking at his record and looking at some of the people he’s beat, and I don’t know what the fans will think about Yoel Romero and Daniel Cormier title fight since Daniel wants big fights and I think that would be the biggest fight to make,” Kawa said.
While it may seem a hard sell to UFC matchmakers, Kawa believes his fighter’s resume speaks for itself with knockout wins against Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida and two razor-thin decision losses to Whittaker.
“When I look at this, and I don’t know how UFC would feel but Yoel Romero has beaten on his record five champions. Three UFC and two Strikeforce champions. He’s a monster in the Octagon,” he said.
“His fights with Robert Whittaker were razor thin and some people thought he won the second fight and he’s knocked out UFC champions. He is one of the best fighters in the UFC without a belt. He doesn’t have a fight and Cormier wants to fight somebody, maybe they will let us take that fight.”