Both Yoel Romero and Israel Adesanya  have made it clear that they’re down to fight. But, “The Last Stylebender” claims the UFC is passing on the bout, for now, over concerns it won’t sell.
Adesanya calls out Romero
The expectation had been that Paulo Costa would be next for the new middleweight champ, Adesanya, since Costa has gone undefeated in the UFC (and he defeated Romero by decision in August). But, Costa was recently sidelined as a result of bicep surgery, and Adesanya proceeded to call out Romero.
Romero quickly responded to Adesanya’s challenge with an empathic yes. But, Dana White has reported the UFC’s looking at another bout for the decorated wrestler , and that Adesanya could face the winner.
Adesanya’s latest comments about fighting Romero
Well, more recently, Romero asked Adesanya why there’s a hold-up in getting the fight signed, and he pressured the champ to get the bout done. But, while speaking to TMZ Sports , Adesanya relayed this (quotes via MMA Fighting ):
“Man, I already called the guy out,” Adesanya said. “That’s what they say. That’s what they all say. I already said it on JRE [The Joe Rogan Experience], I’ve never ever backed out from anyone. I’ve never backed down, never will. He’s f*cking getting told by his manager to say that. Why else? Yeah, I’ve called the guy out, I’ve said I want to fight him, the UFC don’t think that’s going to sell, but f*ck records, I just want to fight. I want Yoel, but if they can’t make that happen we have some ideas. Business in order.”
“I said I want Yoel,” Adesanya said. “F*ck records, he’s a great fighter. I want to beat all the greatest of this era. I’ve taken Whittaker, I’ve taken Gastelum, I’ve taken Silva… So hopefully, [he’s next]. Dana’s the one. I don’t know what his manager is telling him. I’ve said I want to fight him. I’ve never backed down. I’ll see you soon, boy.”
So, Adesanya’s comments above, regarding the UFC’s lack of interest in making the Romero bout right now, shouldn’t be too surprising. As noted above, White said they’re looking at another fight for Romero. After all, while Romero has been at the top of the UFC’s 185 division for several years now, he has lost three of his last four fights.
So, it will be interesting to see if Adesanya ends up waiting for say Romero, someone who beats the latter, or Costa.
Adesanya unified the UFC’s middleweight titles last month by stopping Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.