There's no arguing that Yoel Romero made a big impression with his knockout victory over Chris Weidman at UFC 205 in New York City. The powerful Cuban fighter has amassed a perfect 8-0 record inside of the Octagon and looks poised to challenge champion Michael Bisping for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title rights in 2017.
But Romero's actions come at a price. Like his unwillingness to get off of his stool before the third round of his bout with Tim Kennedy at UFC 178, "Soldier of God" enacted more mid-fight antics at UFC 205, purposely dumping water all over his body in between rounds. UFC color commentator and former middleweight contender Brian Stann did not take too kindly to Romero's shadiness, having the following to say during a recent appearance on Sirius XM:
"[This guy will do] anything, bending the rules, anything. And in my opinion, it needs to get stopped. I think it's up to people like me, in the media, who have a voice, to make sure he understands that, ‘hey Yoel, we see you doing it, we see your corner doing it.' The commissions need to see, and look back on the film, and there may be some people who aren't allowed to corner you anymore if they're going to continue these antics. You gotta answer the bell and get off the stool, no matter how tired you are. We've seen that trick too many times before. You gotta stop grabbing the fence. Referees, when it's egregious and could alter the position of a fight, they're gonna take a point away from this guy. And they gotta do that. They need to do that with this guy, and hold him accountable because in every fight we're seeing some of this stuff."
While Stann has a point, Romero isn't necessarily winning these bouts by bending the rules. He may be gaining an extra few seconds of downtime in between rounds, but his ability to finish a fight when the clock is running speaks for itself. The guy is a finishing machine.
Bisping will have his work cut out for him in a potential title defense opposite Romero, especially if stools and water are involved.