Brandon Magnus – Zuffa LLC
UFC President, Dana White has voiced his objection at an immediate meeting of current middleweight champion Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, and former three-time title hopeful, Yoel ‘Solider of God’ Romero. Kiwi-Nigerian kickboxing talent Adesanya retained his undefeated record at UFC 243 recently, also claiming the undisputed 185-pound title against Robert Whittaker.
Adesanya, 30, was rumored to meet Brazilian powerhouse Paulo ‘Borrachinha’ Costa next April, after the undefeated striker picked up a close decision over the aforementioned Romero at UFC 241. It was revealed last week, that Costa had undergone bicep surgery and would be ruled out of training until at least April, with Cuban freestyle-wrestler Romero vying to replace the TUF alumni.
Both Adesanya and Romero traded barbs on Twitter and Instagram late last week, with the reigning champion seemingly agreeing to meet the veteran Olympian silver-medalist in his first defence of the middleweight crown. According to promotion leader Dana White, Adesanya vs. Romero has been put on the back burner for the time being. Speaking with Adam’s Apple, White gave us on update on the potential pairing. “(Israel) Adesanya wants to fight Yoel Romero.“ White said. “He wants (Yoel) Romero. So we’re talking about giving (Yoel) Romero a fight coming up soon here and then (Israel) Adesanya will fight the winner of that fight. (Paulo) Costa tore his bicep so he had to have surgery. He’s (Paulo Costa) is claiming that he will be back sooner than he will be. That’s not what the doctor’s telling me, so that’s not true.”
Yoel Romero has managed just one victory in his last four outings, dropping somewhat contentious losses to Costa, and a split decision to the previously mentioned Robert Whittaker last year. 42-year-old Romero last scored a victory against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221, scoring a brutal third round knockout over the former champion. The Cuban wrestling ace has been scheduled to challenge for 185-pound gold three separate times, with a mixture of botched weight-cuts and losses resulting in the Florida based knockout artist failing to reach the middleweight summit.
A potential opponent for Romero, may be recent division mover, Jared Cannonier. ‘The Killa Gorilla’ has burst onto the middleweight scene during the year, picking up three straight finishes over David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson to claim the #5 rank. Former champion Robert Whittaker released a statement earlier this week where he announced his withdrawal from an event towards the end of year, due to the opportunity to return to active-competition. Could we see Whittaker vs. Romero III at the turn of the year to determine the number-one contender at middleweight.