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Yoel Romero clarifies controversial comments, says they were a 'misunderstanding'

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David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Yoel Romero's biggest career victory soon gave way to online controversy on Saturday night.

After Romero finished Lyoto Machida in the third round of their main event at UFC Fight Night 70 in Hollywood, Fla., the fighter nicknamed "Soldier of God" took to the mic.

In heavily accented English, Romero, whose first language is Spanish, chose to speak directly to the audience, rather than through an interpreter. In doing so, he made comments many interpreted as a statement against Friday's Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states (you can listen to the interview here and decide for yourself).

At the post-fight press conference, Romero sought to clarify his comments.

"I would like to apologize if there was a misunderstanding," Romero said through an interpreter. "First of all, I am a man of God. And God is love. My expressions are always going to be about love. What I was trying to say in the Octagon was, live for the American Dream."

Later, Romero said he has no intention of casting judgement on anyone.

"I will tell you guys something," the middleweight contender said. "God made man to be free. Anybody can do whatever they want. I wouldn't be the type of person to critique anybody. I have to look at myself first, and be a better person, to love people."

"What I was trying to say was, to the United States, thank you, for giving me the American Dream," Romero, a native of Cuba who emigrated to Florida, continued. "There is no better country, because it is blessed by God."