After losing to Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 in an interim Middleweight title fight, Yoel Romero hoped to return to action against Luke Rockhold. But, apparently Luke wasn’t having it, much to the chagrin of “Solider of God.”
However, it was all strategy on the part of Rockhold, as Yoel says the former Strikeforce and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion was simply looking for the easiest fight available.
“I don’t understand why he said no. I don’t understand. Maybe he had a strategy in the mind. He say, ‘No I wont fight Yoel, I will fight somebody easy.’ Respect to David Branch, but that’s the way he thinks, you know? That’s Luke's mentality, ‘I want a more easy fight, win and Yoel Romero lose his last fight.’” said the tank of a middleweight on a recent edition of The MMA Hour.
After submitting David Branch in his first fight in over a year this past September (see it), Rockhold was the recipient of a surprise title shot a couple months later against Robert Whittaker after Georges St-Pierre decided to vacate the 185-pound strap due to an ongoing battle with colitis.
To hear the Yoel tell it, Rockhold needed to face him first with winner getting dibs on the next title shot.
“For my opinion, he needed a fight with me and the winner fight with Robert. The problem is UFC has a show in Australia and this guy is the champion right now in my division. So he needed somebody and UFC gave it to Luke Rockhold because he win his last fight,” added Romero, who says he is now waiting for someone to just agree to step into the cage with him.
“I am waiting for UFC for a fight. I want to main event Feb. 24 in Orlando. I am waiting for the fight for Luke Rockhold, but I know now he has a fight with Robert. Now I am waiting for somebody. But nobody say ‘Yes, I want to fight Yoel.’ So give me somebody, maybe Michael Bisping,” he said with a laugh, while confirming Kelvin Gastelum also turned down a fight against him.
Of course, on the heels of two straight brutal defeats, “The Count” is unlikely to return to action in February, as he instead plans to end his career on his home turf of London, England a month later.
Still, Romero needs a worthy contender to welcome him back into the cage, and I personally wouldn't mind him facing off against the aforementioned Branch.
Or is he too “easy?”