Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Tim Kennedy was hoping to fight Vitor Belfort (get in line, bub), but by his estimation, "The Phenom" will never be clean. As a result, Plan B is Yoel Romero, who greets the Strikeforce import at the UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sept. 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And according to Kennedy's comments on Submission Radio, Romero will likely provide a stiffer test.
"I wanted Vito Belfort. Well, I wanted a clean Vitor Belfort. Apparently that wasn't possible. So Yoel is really good. He's very talented. You know I actually think he's better than Vitor Belfort and he poses a lot of problems. He's not a big name. He only has four fights with the UFC, he's 4-0, he's a very, very, very talented athlete, and he's a very good fighter. So Joe Silva asked me to fight him, and you know I'm not a big fish, I only have three fights in the UFC, I can't say no. So if he says 'Hey, this is the guy I want you to fight', my response is 'Cool, let's do it'."
Just to be on the safe side, the decorated Army veteran is asking for a glass of Cuban lemonade.
Romero won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in wrestling, but has made headlines for his seven knockouts in eight wins. While he's undoubtedly a more savvy ground fighter than "The Phenom," it might be too early to call him "better" than Belfort.
Then again, that may depend on which version we're referring to.