According to former UFC title challenger Yoel Romero, he was in line to fight Jake Paul before Ben Askren but implies the YouTuber turned boxer canceled the potential showdown.
Widespread shock ran through the MMA community when many were surprised to find out that “The Soldier Of God” was released from the UFC. Even though the chiseled 44-year old was on a losing streak, many claim it was only due to him fighting the very best in the world. Nevertheless, Romero moved on and joined Bellator. While the Brazilian was set for a fiery debut against fellow knockout artist Anthony Johnson, tragedy struck and an injury forced Romero out of the highly anticipated debut.
In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, it was revealed by Romero that he was offered to fight Jake Paul prior to Ben Askren signing the dotted line but the plans caught a snag.
“What happened was, initially Jake Paul wanted to do a fight with Yoel, but then when Yoel wanted to do it, the Paul team canceled the fight,” Romero’s translator said.
“Initially they wanted to do the fight with Yoel. That was when he was just getting out of the UFC, he had not signed with Bellator yet, and they said eventually no they don’t want Yoel… They decided to go with Ben Askren.” Romero’s translator explained to Helwani.
According to Romero and his translator, the fight with Paul was somewhat close to materializing. Even so, the Paul team decided to move on from “The Soldier Of God” and target Askren instead. The Brazilian known for his explosive striking believes the Paul brothers have very little desire to actually get into the ring with a seasoned fighter.
“They don’t want to face a real fighter. (The Paul brothers) are just trying to make it a show and they don’t want to ruin their show. They’re finding the easy fights. Even though (Logan) fought Mayweather, but the thing is, there’s a huge weight difference,” Romero said, through his translator.
Romero is adamant that the Paul brothers are more concerned with the brilliance of a show than the actual fight. In the midst of all the negotiating, Romero was just departing from the UFC where he fought his contract out after spending seven years with the company.
Yoel Romero will finally make his explosive Bellator debut in the main event this Saturday on Sept. 18 at Bellator 266. The 44-year old light heavyweight will be matched with a fellow ex-UFC fighter in Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis.
Who do you see winning in a fight between Yoel Romero and Jake Paul?