Israel Adesanya  has made it pretty clear he’s hoping to throw hands with Yoel Romero in his first title defense. But, recently UFC President Dana White relayed that Romero may not be next for the middleweight champ.
Adesanya’s calls for a scrap with Romero
Until recently, it was expected that Paulo Costa would be the man Adesanya would face in his first title defense. Costa has gone undefeated in the UFC and he defeated Romero by decision in August. But, after it was revealed Costa has been sidelined as a result of bicep surgery, Adesanya called out Romero.
Since then, Adesanya has continued to push for a bout  with Romero and the latter has said he’s more than on board. In fact, Adesanya recently said this while talking to Sirius XM  (quote via MMA Junkie ):
“The fight is already said and done,” Adesanya said. “No one asked to fight Yoel. I said I want to fight the baddest (expletive) in there. So we called him out even though he’s on a two-fight losing streak. He’s lost three of his last four. For the stark, it’s not just not good for business. I’m a charitable guy and I think he’s a beast. Regardless of records. (Expletive) records. He’s a bad (expletive).
“And all of the casuals keep thinking this is the guy. They said, ‘Kelvin: This is the guy who’s going to (expletive) him up. This is the guy.’ My ass didn’t hit the ground once in that fight. And then Robert. ‘Oh, Robert’s coming off a fresh layoff. This is the guy. He’s going to starch him.’ I did what I did and now the next one. ‘Oh, Paulo Costa. Borrachinha. He’s the one.’ And then he’s got his bicep injured or something.”
White comments on Romero’s next bout
Recently a journalist name Adam Glyn caught up with White in New York, and when the UFC President was asked about Adesanysa – Romero, he said this:
“(Adesanya) wants to fight Yoel Romero,” White said. “He wants Romero. We’re talking about giving Romero a fight coming up soon here and then (Adesanya) will fight the winner of that one.”
Now, it should be noted that White’s comments to Glyn appeared to have taken place on November 1st and before UFC 244. But, it could very well be that because Romero has lost three of his last four fights, he’ll need to return to the win column before getting another shot at the belt. Might it be a showdown with Jared Cannonier?
The other factor here is that Adesanya just fought in October (he took out Robert Whittaker to unify the 185 titles) and he’s coming off a three fight campaign. So, the UFC might be fine with having him take a break for a little while, and then seeing what plays out with Romero, Cannonier and even Costa.