You’ll be hard-pressed to find many more talented young prospects in the world of MMA than Ontario’s Anthony Romero. The 24-year-old is set to put his unbeaten record on the line next month at Fury FC 50 in Houston, Texas.
In this interview with “The Genius”, we discuss his recent training at Syndicate MMA, what he’s looking forward to most about competing in September, why he’s committed to spreading positivity, and much more.
Romero is a longtime member of Niagara Top Team, the home of several ascending mixed martial artists like Aaron Jeffery and Zack Powell. However, earlier this year the lightweight took his talents to Las Vegas due to reasons out of his control.
Anthony Romero Interview
“Yeah it was mainly because it was hard to train here (Ontario) due to the lockdown,” Romero replied regarding the temporary move to Syndicate MMA. “But then like the second or third week that I was in Vegas they started opening things up so I decided to come back. I’m pretty much improving all my skills every time I step into the gym. Just trying to get better and better with the people I train with, like all the guys I was able to learn from out in Las Vegas. Training with those top-level guys and coaches, man I’m just enjoying the ride.”
Romero has rattled off nine consecutive victories since making his professional debut back in 2017. Remarkably, he’s succumbed to defeat just once (via UD) in 17 outings dating back to his days as an amateur. In 2020, Romero went 3-0 which included a win on Dana White’s Contender Series and a victory in the LFA 96 co-headliner. It’ll have been roughly 10 months since his last fight when he graces the cage at Fury FC 50. Needless to say, Romero is itching to get compete and showcase his talents.
“I’m definitely excited to get back in there,” he said, “It’s been a little while since my last fight, but I was trying to get a fight. I actually have new management now with Iridium Sports after having a little back and forth with my last management. We just couldn’t come to an agreement so I moved on and that’s kind of why it took so long to get another fight. Once I had my new management it took a little while to locate an actual opponent, but it worked out. I’m really excited to go out and show all my improvements. I had time off, but I was still training. So yeah, I’m mainly excited to show my skills and why I belong at the top-level.”
Romero is scheduled to take on JJ Okanovich on Sept. 5 in the Fury FC 50 main event slot. Okanovich has previously competed in Bellator, LFA, and on DWCS.
“He’s good everywhere,” Romero began, “But I’ve seen different things in his tape. Like he’s OK at striking. He comes from a wrestling-based gym, AKA, a lot of guys are wrestlers there like Khabib. Yet, in his last fight, he lost in the grappling department. The guy took his back and was able to keep him there for all three rounds basically. I can tell he has no quit in him. He always pushes hard until the last bell which is awesome. I’m just excited. Like I said, I pretty much improve my skills every time I get in the gym.”
All fighters are forced to overcome obstacles at some point, whether it’s in their careers or in their lives. The same goes for Romero, who carries the added pressure of being undefeated each time he steps in the cage.
“Over the years I’ve of course improved physically, but also mentally,” he added. “Mental obstacles are definitely a part of sports. Like me being undefeated there’s always extra pressure with people being like oh is he gonna lose this one? There are always people out there wanting me to lose to see if it can happen. Obviously, it could happen cause I’m a human being, I’m not invincible. My job is to prevent that from happening, but it’s just part of the adventure. I’m always trying to perform to the best of my abilities whenever I fight and I always go in there as a 0-0 fighter.”
Romero Spreading Positivity
Anthony Romero has advanced maturity for his age and it’s quite evident, not only in the way he fights but in the way he conducts himself as well. His dedication to the spreading of positivity to those around him is a strong testament to his maturity. His Monday motivation posts on Instagram are always a good way to start the week.
“I find it’s important for myself and for everyone,” he stated. “Usually everyone dreads Monday cause they have to go through all their weekly things, but it should be that we are grateful for another week of life and maybe new things will become available this week. There are always things that happen in life from death to birth, to everything in between. I try to instill the mindset of being thankful for what you have.”
When asking if Romero has given any thought as to what might be next after a victory next month, he replied with a mature answer. He realizes that anything can occur in the fight game, so not taking anything for granted is the correct approach.
“Right now this fight is my one and only focus,” he confirmed. “Anything can change. Who knows maybe he gets hurt or gets COVID. My focus is to get through this fight. I don’t really know what the future is, but my goal is always to be in the UFC. I know that eventually, it will happen, I just have to go through the steps and obstacles. Whether it’s Dana White not giving me a contract or people pulling out of fights. I just have to follow the adventure and I’ll get to where I want to be.”
The Anthony Romero adventure continues on Sept. 5 in Houston, Texas at Fury FC 50. This is an athlete who has a long, successful future ahead of him. I strongly suggest tuning in next month to watch him grace the cage for the 10th time in his pro career.
Ryan Truland is an MMA writer who conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date on the latest and greatest MMA news.