Yoel Romero is without a doubt one of the scariest fighters in all of mixed martial arts (MMA), leaving behind a path of destruction on his way to the top including violent knockout wins over Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, and Lyoto Machida, just to name a few.
But when he came up against current division champion Robert Whittaker on two separate occasions — more recently at UFC 225 — his powers were nullified as “The Reaper” took it to “Soldier of God,” all while taking his best shot only to come out on top both times.
According to Robert, The fact he went toe-to-toe with Romero without getting slept or forced to tap twice should be discouraging for the rest of the Middleweight division looking to knock him off his throne.
“I think it’s given Romero a bit of a chip to think that he changed me as a fighter after fighting him twice,” Whittaker told MMA Junkie. “He was a tough fight. He was a tough opponent. I had my mettle tested. If anything, I think it should be disheartening for every other fighter in the division. No one has what it takes to put me away.”
Up next for Whittaker is a title defense against fellow Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner Kelvin Gastelum. While Robert appreciates Gastelum’s skill set, it won’t be enough to take him down and give him his first loss in four years.
Because at the end of the day, there simply isn’t anything Kelvin is better at than “The Reaper.”
“He’s a tough athlete. He hits like a truck. He’s fast, he’s young, and he wants it,” Whittaker said. “The thing is, though, personally, I think I’m just better at everything than he is. I look forward to going into this fight, putting my skill set against his and seeing how that comes out,” he concluded.
Whittaker and Gastelum are currently filming the final season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), which will feature Featherweight women and Heavyweight men. As for their title fight, it likely won’t go down until the early part of 2019, as Whittaker has to let both of his hands fully heal before he can start putting them to use inside the Octagon.