Yoel Romero’s Manager Claims Title Contender Turned Down Fight At UFC Belem


UFC middleweight title contender Kelvin Gastelum attempted to get a title shot against Robert Whittaker.

However, despite his attempt at campaigning his case to UFC officials, the promotion decided to go in a different direction as they thought former champion Luke Rockhold was more deserving of the opportunity.

Keep in mind that this bout all came about after Georges St-Pierre vacated the belt following his big win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 last month.

With the fight already made official for the 185-pound title on Feb. 11 at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, Gastelum is in need of his next opponent.

MMA manager Malki Kawa, who works with the likes of Jon Jones and Yoel Romero, is claiming that Gastelum turned down a fight with Romero at UFC Belem.

Romero, who is ranked at #2 in the official middleweight rankings, lost his first fight under the UFC banner this past July by losing via decision to Whittaker in an interim title bout at UFC 213. He holds wins over the likes of Lyoto Machida, ‘Jacare’ Souza, and Chris Weidman.

On the flip side, Gastelum, who won 2013’s Ultimate Fighter 17 middleweight tournament, feels he should have been granted the title shot over Rockhold. He is coming off a huge first-round KO win over Bisping. It’s likely he will respond to Kawa in the coming days.

  • OneFootFriendly

    Gastelum is cool, but he would lose against whittaker.
    And he would probably lose against Yoel, but at least against Whittaker it would be a title shot. He might have a bisping dog day.
    Against Yoel would just be a loss.

    He’s done a good job smoking some fading legends, but he hasn’t beaten any of the top guys backed up at the top of 185. He never had any realistic argument for a title shot.
    A yoel fight would have been his opportunity to do that, but once again I’m not convinced that he would win it, and I dont think he is either.

    He didn’t get past weidman.
    Maybe try on a David Branch or something.

  • Dave WC

    I think he’s on a decent run, but he has to beat someone like Romero or Jacare before getting a title shot.

  • doublehalf21

    I understand Gastelum’s argument. He and Rockhold are both 1-1 in their last 2 fights and Rockhold was knocked out by the guy Gastelum just knocked out. I honestly think they should let the two of them fight for the number 1 contender spot.

  • Water Buffalo

    They all stand ready to challenge each other for the belt. Oh except

    Yoel, no one wants a piece of him. They prefer to keep silent and not

    mention the Cuban Olympian’s name. Just think, if we were living in a just

    world, a fair society were real competition and hard work was

    respected; Yoel would have fought and destroyed Bisping, he would be the

    MW champion today. But no, his moment in time was stolen by GSP. No

    fair play, no respect, living for the dollar. Water Buffalo