After Yoel Romero  was surprisingly cut by the UFC, there was a lot of discussion about why the promotion cut ties with the longtime contender.
The fighter’s age, losing streak and price tag have been cited as to why, but according to Romero, a disagreement on who he should fight next was a driving factor.
Romero claims failed talks for next fight preceded release
Although Romero has lost three straight fights, no one seemed to be predicting he would be let go. After all, in his last bout, Romero lost via decision to middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and he had three fights left on his deal.
When UFC President Dana White was asked about Romero’s release, he cited Romero’s age and recent losses. He also referred to the UFC roster being inflated , and White said up to 60 fighters could be cut.
“First and foremost, it was something that was completely unexpected,” Romero said. “I was already training very hard, getting ready.
We were already thinking of fighting in January or February at 185 or 205.
We were looking to fight with the top three in either division. My managers explained this to the presidency, the top of the UFC.
“They wanted (me) to fight with Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, and we explained to them that it didn’t make sense for (me) to fight with these young men.
We had an idea we were chasing, the world title. The way we were training, making it happen, we knew that we had one or two fights and then we would go for the belt.
Our thought was that fighting any of these guys that are in the back of the roster, that it was taking steps backward, not forward.”
In addition, Romero also said this.
“My managers were back and forth non-stop with the matchmakers and with (UFC president Dana White), and there was no accordance.
They came back to us with an offer to fight Johnny Walker at 205. At 205, we wanted whomever triumphed between ‘Marreta’ (Santos) or Glover (Teixeira).
“The managers were initially saying we wanted to fight with Dominick Reyes, Glover Teixeira, ‘Marreta,’ or Anthony Smith, and it was kind of like a back and forth, kind of quiet on their end, and once they reached back it was to let (me) know that we couldn’t come to an agreement, and they were going to commit to the release.”
So, this is really interesting to hear. It certainly sounds like the UFC initially intended to book Romero for another fight, and that his release wasn’t something they were looking at until talks failed.
All this aside, Romero is now signed to Bellator and he’s expected to fight at light heavyweight.