One of the most stunning developments in the MMA world over the past month has been the UFC’s decision to release Yoel Romero.
This week, Romero revealed that the announcement from the UFC came as a complete shock to him.
“I was already in training, very hard, getting ready,” he told ESPN.
“We were already thinking about fighting in January, or February, in 185 [pounds] or 205. We were looking to fight with the top three in either division.
“My managers explained this to the top of the UFC. [The UFC] wanted [me] to fight with Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson. We explained that it didn’t make sense for [me] to fight with these young men,” he continued.
“We had an idea we were chasing the world title. The way we were training, we knew we had one or two fights and then go for the belt. Our thought was fighting any of these guys in the back of the roster was taking steps backwards, not forwards.”
Ultimately, an agreement could not be reached.
“They came back with an offer for us to fight Johnny Walker at 205,” Romero said. “My managers initially were saying who we wanted: Dominick Reyes, Glover, Santos and Anthony Smith. And it was back and forth, kind of quiet on their end, and once they reached back, it was we couldn’t come to an agreement and they were going to commit to the release.”
Unsurprisingly, shortly after the UFC got rid of Romero, he signed with Bellator. His likely first opponent in the promotion? Former UFC star Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
“At 205, Bellator has a huge amount of incredible athletes,” Romero said.
“There’s a lot of prospects. There’s a lot of opportunities. To throw a name out there right now is pure speculation. There’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes that I’m not supposed to speak about, that I can’t say yet.
“But, there’s a huge possibility, a 90 percent chance, that he’ll be the first one to face Yoel Romero.”
What sort of success will Romero experience in Bellator? Time will tell.