Yoel Romero is back on a winning streak.
This past weekend (Sept. 23, 2022) in Dublin, Ireland, “The Soldier of God” dominated his way to a third round knockout against Melvin Manhoef in the co-main event (watch highlights). The victory marked Romero’s second in a row, getting his momentum rolling for the first time since 2016 when he was 12-1.
Yet to fight back at his primary division of Middleweight, Romero said ahead of the bout that he has his sights set on double champion status. However, undefeated current 185 pound kingpin, Johnny Eblen, doesn’t think Romero should be next.
“I feel like he needs another solid win, especially at 185, so we can make sure he can make weight because he’s always had weight trouble,” Eblen told MMA Junkie. “I don’t want to deal with someone who can’t make weight. I don’t know if that dude’s all natural. I really don’t care. I’ll beat his ass if he’s on steroids or not. I don’t care. Not to say that he’s on steroids, but I don’t know. Who knows. All these motherf—kers are on steroids, [like said] Nate Diaz.
“He’s not [the best Middleweight],” he added. “He’s good. He’s explosive, especially at 45 [years old]. He’s still dangerous in some scenarios, but I think I would put on a pressure he couldn’t sustain and I think I would drown him out there. I think he’s a good name to beat. He would be a good name to add to the resume.”
Eblen, 30, is also a supremely talented wrestler like the Cuban former silver medalist Olympian, Romero. To win the Bellator title, Eblen pitched a shutout against the legendary Gegard Mousasi in June 2022 (watch highlights).
Depending on what Romero wants to do next and at what weight, an Eblen clash could very likely be in the immediate future. The champion isn’t against it, as mentioned, he just believes there’s a clear top contender at the moment.
“I was kind of joking when I said I would retire another person, because I didn’t retire Gegard,” Eblen said. “Some talks, but I think the most sensible title defense would be [Anatoly] Tokov, but obviously Yoel can be in the picture too. We just got to make sure he can make weight. Dude hasn’t made 185 since 2020.”