|Yoel Romero (Photo: Instagram @UFC)
Romero’s Octagon return has once again been hampered.
Perennial Middleweight contender Yoel ‘Soldier Of God’ Romero has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled rematch with Jacaré Souza on April 27th. at UFC Fight Night Fort Lauderdale, after the freestyle wrestling ace contracted pneumonia in the weeks leading up to the main event clash. Both men went the three round distance at UFC 194 back in 2015 with Romero eking out a narrow split decision over Souza, courtesy of a spinning back fist knockdown. Romero was expected to make his Octagon return in Miami against rising striker Paulo Costa, before the Brazilian was replaced for undisclosed reasons by compatriot Jacaré.
Pinar del Rio native Romero last competed in June 2018 in an incredibly exciting back and forth championship rematch with Robert Whittaker, finding himself unlucky to not come away from ‘The Windy City’ with at least a majority draw that night, while former Strikeforce Middleweight gold holder Souza, elected to strike with Chris Weidman in his last outing, stopping the one time 185lbs champion in the third round. The winner of this somewhat title eliminator was expected to face the victor of the UFC 236 Interim title fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya, and subsequent unification bout with the previously mentioned Whittaker. As of yet it is unknown if Jacaré Souza will remain on the card.
UFC Fight Night Fort Lauderdale takes place on April 27th. from the BB&T Centre, with the controversial former NFL Defensive end Grey Hardy featuring in the co-main event against Dmitrii Smoliakov. Former world champions Andrei Arlovski and Carla Esparza also make their Octagon return that night, with Bantamweight title hopeful John Lineker finally making the walk against Cory Sandhagen. Expect fireworks in a recently announced Welterweight match up, as the also exciting Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira meets the equally entertaining Mike Perry in a match up that’s a shoe in for Fight Of The Night honours.