Perennial Middleweight contender Yoel Romero departs from the UFC

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Yoel Romero leaves UFC
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Yoel Romero reacts during UFC 205 Weigh-ins at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Four-time Middleweight title challenger, Yoel Romero, has mutually terminated his contract with the UFC today, per his manager Malki Kawa. 

The 43-year-old had three fights remaining on his contract, and although the reasoning for his departure is not yet clear he is, it would appear to be a decision led by the UFC, “we didn’t expect Romero’s time in the UFC to end like this,” Kawa told ESPN.

It does however seem to be an acrimonious parting of ways, and Romero is, “ready to move on now and resume his career, and we are already talking to other promotions as we speak,” Kawa said. 

‘The Soldier of God’ joined the UFC following the companies’ acquisition of Strikeforce in 2013. He went on an 8-fight winning streak, that spanned three years, which ultimately earned him a shot at a UFC world title. The Cuban fighter would go on to compete in a further three championship fights in his last three years in the UFC, although always coming up short on points or on the scale. 

Two dogged performances against, then champion Robert Whittaker, proved Yoel Romero’s durability at the highest level, even leaving many to think he defeated Bobby Knuckles in their second meeting at UFC 225. His brutal knockouts of former champions, Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold cemented him as one of the most feared opponents in UFC Middleweight history. 

The penultimate fight of his UFC career, with Paulo Costa, was another stunning, yet typical performance for Yoel Romero. An absolute war. Israel Adesanya was so impressed he demanded to fight Romero, even though he was not victorious.

It is too early to say where the next chapter of his career will lie. This has not stopped early speculation from fans and journalists on social media, with early shouts for a Bellator switch or even a move to bare-knuckle boxing. 

Romero’s teammate, Jorge Masvidal, paid tribute to him on Twitter, jokingly suggesting the Cuban will face Youtuber turned celebrity boxer, Jake Paul, next. Rumors of Yoel Romero in Bellator have since surfaced.


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Hi, I'm Ruaraidh Gilmour. I have just finished four years at Edinburgh Napier University, graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Journalism. I have a keen interest in digital media, particularly relating to current and future funding models that support the medium. I completed my dissertation on the digital media marketplace in Scotland, analysing current models of funding and assessing new ways to support digital journalism in the future. This achieved the highest mark in my year, receiving the Clements' Family Prize for Journalism. My experience in MMA news writing began in 2019, creating the UK's first MMA magazine 'Takedown'. The content consisted of current news, features and long form interviews with British fighters. In late 2020, I joined Overtime Heroics MMA. I cover breaking news stories, preview events and write features. I look forward to building my body of work on OTH MMA, as I look to start my career in digital media.

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