In news that has come way out of left field, former middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero, 43, is no longer part of the UFC.
The news was reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani who added that Romero’s manager Malki Kawa confirmed his client was no longer under contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Romero had three fights left on his deal.
“Yoel Romero’s UFC run has come to an unexpected end. Romero and the promotion have parted ways, multiple sources told ESPN. Romero’s manager Malki Kawa also confirmed he is no longer under contract with the UFC. According to sources, Romero had three fights left on his deal.”
Yoel Romero's UFC run has come to an unexpected end.
Romero and the promotion have parted ways, multiple sources told ESPN. Romero's manager Malki Kawa also confirmed he is no longer under contract with the UFC.
According to sources, Romero had three fights left on his deal.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 5, 2020
Romero Already Speaking To Other Promotions
The news seems to have come as a shock to the Romero camp as well as Kawa revealed that Romero is already speaking to other promotions.
“While we didn’t expect Romero’s time in the UFC to end like this, we are grateful for the opportunities (UFC president) Dana White, (general counsel) Hunter Campbell and (matchmaker) Mick Maynard gave him over the years.
“He’s ready to move on now and resume his career and we are already talking to other promotions as we speak.”
Romero leaves the UFC as one of the greatest fighters to have never won a championship.
The Cuban received four shots but came away unsuccessful in all four attempts in actually winning a title. The first one was a unanimous decision defeat to Robert Whittaker for the interim middleweight title at UFC 213 in July 2017.
Romero then stepped in to face Luke Rockhold for the interim middleweight title at UFC 221 in February 2018. “The Soldier of God” would win via knockout but missed weight meaning he wasn’t eligible to win the title.
Romero would then face Whittaker for the undisputed middleweight title at UFC 225 in June 2018 but would miss weight again making him ineligible to win the title had he won. He would end up losing a highly-contested split decision.
His last fight with the promotion was a unanimous decision defeat against current champion Israel Adesanya in their drab and forgettable title fight in March earlier this year.
Despite losing four of his last five fights, most of them were close decisions with Romero still being viewed as one of the most dangerous and high-level fighters in the sport today.
Hopefully, we learn more about what led to his unexpected departure.