One of the UFC middleweight division’s fastest-rising future stars isn’t fond of top-ranked veteran Yoel Romero.
Set to meet Brad Tavares in the main event of Friday night’s (July 6, 2018) The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 27 Finale from the Pearl Theatre in Paradise, Nevada, touted Israel Adesanya spoke out against “The Soldier of God’s” recent failure to make weight to MMA Fighting, something that happened prior to his UFC 221 knockout of Luke Rockhold and his five-round war with Robert Whittaker at June 9’s UFC 225.
“The Last Stylebender” doesn’t agree with how Romero has repeatedly missed, and although it didn’t matter at UFC 225 because the fight ended up being amazing, it is a form of cheating the system according to Adesanya:
“Look at Romero in his last fight. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really care in the end because it was such a good fight, but regardless of what happened I didn’t want Romero to win,” he said.
“F*ck that, the guy missed weight and it’s not even the first time he missed weight. And he’s been caught doing other stuff in the past too. I think there’s an element of gaming the system there, it’s almost cheating to be honest.”
Adesanya made his long-awaited UFC debut at March’s UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, so he witnessed Romero’s first weight miss of 2018 first hand. He claimed some sort of conspiracy theory was shrouding Romero’s weight cut at the event:
“I was there in Perth and I still don’t fully understand what happened, it’s a bit of a conspiracy theory. I can remember I saw him going into the sauna that time, but they were cleaning the sauna so he wasn’t able to go in to cut more weight.”
In his opinion, the conspiracy was that Romero gave up on cutting the final three pounds, instead choosing to not deplete himself while giving up part of his purse to earn a title shot versus Whittaker:
“Regardless of all that, the conspiracy theory is that Yoel Romero didn’t try to lose weight again after he weighed in the first time in Perth. Why would he deplete himself more by trying to lose that further three pounds? I think he just thought, ‘F*ck that, I’m going to win this fight. He can take my purse, but at the end of the day, I know I’m fighting for the world title.’”
Adesanya will face by far the biggest test of his UFC career when he meets Tavares this weekend. With a win, he should steamroll onto the Top 10 of the official rankings by defeating the No. 8 fighter, and the sky will be the limit for the undefeated kickboxing wiz.
From the looks of it, he’d like to get a shot at Romero soon thereafter.