Yoel Romero has peeled back the curtains to provide extra details on why he was released from the UFC.
After a seven-year run of thrilling bouts and perennial title contention, Yoel Romero was suddenly released from the UFC the first week of December. When questioned about the reason behind the release, UFC President Dana White stated that it was because of Romero’s age, recent win-loss record, and the fact that the promotion would be undergoing massive roster cuts in the near future. What White didn’t tell you was the fact that the promotion could not come to terms with Romero about his next opponent.
“Well, first and foremost, it was something that was completely unexpected,” Romero said through his translator Ray Fundaro in an ESPN interview. “I was already training very hard, getting ready. We were already thinking about fighting in January or February, same as in 185 or in 205. We were looking to fight with the top 3 in either division: 185, 205. My managers explained this to the top of the UFC.”
Despite Yoel Romero’s request for top-ranked opponents, the promotion had other ideas for The Soldier of God, none of which meshing well with his short-term plans.
“They wanted (Yoel) to fight with Uriah Hall, Derek Bronson, and we explained to them that it didn’t make sense for him to fight with these young men,” Romero conveyed through his translator. “First and foremost, we had an idea we were chasing: the world title. The way that we were training and making it happen, we knew we had one or two fights, then we would go for the belt. And we had this idea that fighting these guys that are in the back of the roster, that it was taking steps backwards, not forward.”
“My managers went back and forth with the matchmakers and with the president, but there was no accordance.”
In addition to the above middleweight names, the UFC also offered a fight against Johnny Walker, who also fell outside of Yoel Romero’s requests for a top-5 opponent. Shortly after these failed negotiations, Romero’s management was informed of the UFC’s decision to release Romero from his contract. Romero admits that this result was the least-expected outcome, but he is now ready to begin a new chapter with Bellator MMA in 2021.
What do you make of these extra details surrounding Yoel Romero’s UFC release?