Yoel Romero was recently released by the UFC, which came as a shock to the MMA community. Jacare Souza stated that Romero had been turning down fights, but it was unclear the exact nature of why the release happened.
Dana White credited it to Yoel simply being older and losing more than he has won lately. However, Yoel Romero and his translator have now appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, and offered clarity to the situation.
Yoel did indeed state that being cut was unexpected, as he was thinking of fighting in January or February of 2021.
“We were looking to fight with the top three in either divison, 185lbs or 205lbs,” as translated on behalf of Romero.
Romero expressed that the UFC wanted him to fight the likes of Uriah Hall or Derek Brunson, but he didn’t believe these fights made sense. He then said that there was a lot of back and forth between the UFC and his management. He was offered Johnny Walker at 205lbs. But at 205lbs, Yoel wanted the winner of Thiago Santos and Glover Teixera. Or he would perhaps be open to Dominic Reyes or Anthony Smith.
Romero then stated that communications with the UFC went quiet, and the next time he heard from them was to inform him of his contract termination.
When asked about potential fights in Bellator, Romero’s translator stated that it was most likely that he would first face Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, who was also recently signed by Bellator. Both fighters are looking to compete in the 205lbs division.
“There’s a huge possibility, 90% chance that [Anthony Johnson] will be the first one to face Yoel Romero.” His translator stated.