Following his loss to UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 248, Yoel Romero will be back in action soon, according to his manager.
Yoel Romero was granted a title shot against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who was initially expected to face Paulo Costa. Costa was forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering a bicep injury. Instead of waiting for his opponent to get healthy, Adesanya opted to fight Romero in the meantime, despite the Cuban being on a 2-fight losing streak.
The fight was viewed as somewhat lackluster with both fighters being technically hesitant throughout the entire 5-rounds. UFC president Dana White criticized the performance, saying that he was “disappointed” in Romero.
Romero’s manager, Ibrahim Kawa, recently spoke with MMA Fighting, discussing the fight and Romero’s game plan. He revealed that the plan was to remain patient throughout the fight and wait for Adesanya to engage and make a mistake. See what Kawa had to say below:
“In his mind, he was pushing [the action]. Not the first two rounds – he was very patient. The game plan was to be patient, because as we saw, Izzy doesn’t know what to do coming forward. He’s a guy that waits for you to come in, and he makes all his moves based on you.
When he did try to push the action, it was very hard for him. Yoel would have had to shoot from so far from the opposite side of the cage to get into range, which he did,” he continued. “He power-doubled him all the way to the cage, he wrecked him and then let him up so he could finish with a flurry.
“He figured the more I show judges that I’m hitting him, the better. Rather than the takedown and trying to hold him down, and if Izzy gets up, it’s going to look negative on him. So why not power-double him, let him up, and hit him with some shots? All credit to Izzy. He was able to weather the storm and move out of the way as he did pretty much the whole fight.”
This was Romero’s 3rd attempt at trying to capture a UFC title. UFC president Dana White has said that this was the last time he will be given a title shot. Romero’s manager Kawa disagrees with that statement and believes that his fighter will be fighting again soon:
“We can label Yoel as a gatekeeper at this point,” Kawa explained. “But if he knocks out three guys in devastating fashion, everyone’s going to be saying Yoel’s the best middleweight, and he needs another title shot. If guys can’t beat Yoel, then eventually, the only guy left is Yoel.
Everybody questions his weight; this is the second time he’s made championship weight without issue. The idea of him moving up just doesn’t make a lot of sense. He’s made weight all but two times in his life, so I think he gets a pass on that now.” Kawa concluded.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 10th March, 2020.