It was set as the biggest fight of his career at the time, as he was gearing up to face UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225, outside variables changed everything for Yoel Romero. To start, things weren’t going according to plan for Romero, as he missed weight on his initial weigh-in, but was given extra time to cut the remaining weight, until he wasn’t. During his allotted time window, Romero was pulled from his cut and blamed the Illinois state commission for him not making championship weight, causing him to be ineligible to win UFC gold.
On fight night, Yoel Romero fought a very close fight against Whittaker but ultimately would fall short, being on the wrong end of a split-decision loss against the reigning champion. It was a fight many argued that Romero could have been named the winner of, although that would’ve been all for nothing, as he would’ve been ineligible to win the title due to missing weight by a total of 0.2 pounds.
Just over five years later, Romero finds himself at home with a new promotion, Bellator MMA, fighting in a new weight class, light heavyweight, and at Bellator 297, another chance at gold and a shot at redemption. Speaking to MyMMANews and other members of the media at Bellator 297 media day, “Soldier of God” spoke about getting another chance to fight for a title in Chicago, and said that he plans to have a different story to tell his children this time around.
“Sometimes it’s impossible to not have memory. But on some occasions, it’s good to have it. This time I’ve been training, it was to come back and fight here. Years ago, I was champion in another company and everyone knows what happens in that fight. This time, I’ll make sure it’s not the same as last time. So, for my children, I have a different story to tell.”
That story will write itself out on Friday, June 16th in the Bellator 297 main event when Yoel Romero faces champion Vadim Nemkov for the light heavyweight title. The legendary fighter will enter the fight on a two-fight winning streak, both of which have come by way of devastating knockout, and this time, he plans to keep the commission out of it.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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