Yoel Romero is out to get UFC middleweight gold, and he’s looking for a little payback in the process.
Romero, who’s currently ranked as the No. 1 contender in the UFC’s middleweight division and is coming off a devastating knockout win over former champ Chris Weidman at UFC 205 back in November, is likely to be the next man to face current champ Michael Bisping, although nothing has been made official by the promotion. Throughout Romero’s rise up the ranks, Bisping has openly criticized Romero for cheating both inside and outside of the cage, citing his USADA suspension for unintentionally taking a tainted supplement and his alleged stalling tactics in between rounds at UFC 189 and UFC 205.
Apart from seeking the middleweight title, Romero wants make Bisping pay for all the accusations and smack talk.
“This man spoke too much trash about me without knowing, because it was a supplement that was tainted,” Romero told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “He doesn’t know how hard I train, he doesn’t know how much I sacrifice to train hard. I sometimes give up time with my daughters to train. This man needs to pay.”
Although Bisping has been harping on the Cuban fighter for over a year, Romero says he hasn’t been affected by the cheating comments. Romero said his conscience is clean regarding his USADA suspension, and he feels the Englishman is actually starting to regret the trash talk now that he’s likely to be fighting for the title next.
“No, not at all, that’s Mike,” Romero said. “You live with shame when you know you’ve done something bad. And believe me, I have no problem sleeping. That’s the only argument that he has, that’s the only card he can pull.
“Have you seen that video on social media when I knocked out Chris Weidman and they got Bisping’s reaction of his face? It’s not fear, there are no words that explain that terror. Have you seen those videos of people’s reactions when they’re at the beach and a tsunami rises? It’s the same expression that he had when I knocked out Chris. At that moment, he didn’t want to be the champion. At that moment he thought, ‘what am I doing fighting in this sport, what am I doing here? Look what’s coming now, why did I talk so much trash about this man?’”
Romero says he’s never felt this type of emotion towards an opponent, as his previous opponents have always been respectful towards him.
According to Romero, the UFC informed him that he’ll be challenging Bisping — who is recovering from knee surgery — some time in May, most like at UFC 211. However, Bisping has been vocal about wanting to get a big money fight — citing opponents such as Tyron Woodley, Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz — over a title defense against the Cuban fighter.
As for that, Romero said he’s not worried that he’ll get skipped over, and is ultimately confident he’ll be the one fighting Bisping next. Romero, “The Soldier of God,” believes Bisping is just doing everything in his power to avoid having to face him.
“Everybody knows that,” he said. “He knows that, his kids know that, even his wife knows that.”