Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit, the UFC’s controversial middleweight contender Yoel Romero more than likely made you chuckle at least a little bit with this one.
Yoel Romero is a fairly polarizing figure for mixed martial arts fans. For some, he represents the somewhat shadier aspects of the fight game due to the fact that on several occasions he has ‘bent’ the rules to a certain extent to accommodate himself mid-fight, with the most noteworthy instance coming during his UFC 178 bout with Tim Kennedy.
In that now infamous 2014 matchup, Romero found himself rocked badly by the recently retired veteran at the end of round 2, and despite the widely accepted and followed one minute break allocated to each fighter in between rounds, the Soldier of God’s cornermen failed to leave the octagon and remove their fighter’s stool until well after that time had passed. In between rounds 2 & 3, Yoel now found himself with more time to recover than he would have had otherwise, time he used to regroup, answer the bell and earn himself the TKO victory minutes later.
Romero’s rise through the middleweight ranks has been nothing short of devastating, however, and you can’t take that away from him. In his 13 professional wins, 11 of them have come by way of knockout, which is a scary stat when you consider that his entire base skill-set comes from his background as an Olympian in freestyle wrestling.
Most recently, he scored himself a ‘knockout of the year’ contender when he nailed the former 185lb champion Chris Weidman with a truly vicious flying knee at UFC 205 and with that win, firmly established himself as the no. 1 contender in the division.
Now, in the wake of Dana White’s long-awaited confirmation that he would be the next to face Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, Romero has warned his future opponent that he is destined to meet the same end as virtually all of those who have challenged him thus far, albeit in a rather humourous fashion.
The Cuban, in a post on his official Twitter page, revealed that he has set up a genuine ‘GoFundMe’ account to cover the medical expenses and subsequent retirement party for the Englishman, Bisping, and followed that with a ‘heartfelt’ statement that he himself wrote to explain his reasons for doing so.
— Yoel Romero (@YoelRomeroMMA) February 8, 2017
“This is Mike, he will be needing money to survive after me and him meet in the octagon approximately May of 2017. He is happy in this picture after defending his title against another fighter and the devastation he went through has caused him to have surgery on his knee where all the visible damage was on his face. This surgery has prevented him from competing in a timely manner. After his fight with me, I am convinced he will need this money to rebuild his life, he has a family and I am deeply concerned for him. Please help any way that you can as all funds will be used for medical expenses and his retirement party. Thank you for your time and #ynuevo”
Perhaps one of the stranger stories to emerge in recent times, but knowing Michael Bisping, it won’t be too long until we see him make his own response to the man he now seems destined to meet inside the octagon.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena