Yoel Romero did the strangest thing after knocking out Luke Rockhold at UFC 221.
He kissed his defeated foe on the lips moments after the referee called the fight off.
Fight fans were at a loss over the kiss, but Romero revealed that Rockhold’s trash talk before the fight was the inspiration for the post-fight loss (MMA Junkie):
“In my country, there’s a code. When you lend a hand to another person, you don’t backstab him. Never. If there’s a situation, and you don’t want to be in trouble, just keep away from it.”
“He was the second person who started talking, and then he actually (invited) me to hang out. When we were hanging out, he asked me, ‘Do you want to fight me?’ And I told him, ‘No, that’s not the question. Do you want to fight me?’ And he said, ‘No,’ so you don’t want to fight with me, I don’t fight you.
“If you don’t want to fight me, move to another division. Or when the UFC says, ‘Do you want to fight Yoel? (You say), ‘No, I don’t want to fight Yoel.’ Call (UFC President Dana (White) and say, ‘He’s my friend, and I won’t want to.
“But you know what? if you have to fight, you need to have respect. I fought Lyoto Machida; I have a great respect for Lyoto Machida. I fought Robert Whittaker; I have a great respect for Lyoto Machida. Because they were always professional. But then when you hang out and (invite) you (to take) a cup of water or fruit or something, and then start doing math. …”
Romero will likely rematch Robert Whittaker for the middleweight belt in the near future as Whittaker heals up from a nasty staph infection.