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Agent Malki Kawa says Yoel Romero plans lawsuit against Illinois State Athletic Commission

Yoel Romero is upset at the Illinois State Athletic Commission and he’s primed to do something about it.

Romero plans on taking the the regulatory body to court after what he feels like was an injustice during his weight cut last week, Romero’s agent Malki Kawa told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

“We’re gonna sue them,” Kawa said. “I’m gonna send the paperwork soon. It’s going out probably this week.”

Romero missed weight on his first attempt by one pound Friday, ahead of what would have been a title fight against Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 225 in Chicago. Per commission rule, Romero then had two extra hours to shed the final pound and make championship weight at 185.

However, Romero and his team are saying that commission director Nancy Illg pulled the plug on the weight cut only an hour into what was supposed to be a two-hour window. Per Romero’s team, doctors on hand during the cut said Romero could keep going, but Illg said no, because she didn’t feel comfortable letting him dehydrate himself any more. Romero ended up missing weight by .2 pounds on his second attempt, making the fight no longer for a title.

“I don’t know why, but it’s terrible,” Romero said. “It’s a very terrible decision. I had only 45 minutes.”

Romero’s other agent, Abe Kawa, Malki’s brother, said Monday on The MMA Hour that the plan once they knew Romero could get an extra two hours if he was within three pounds on the first attempt was to take them and utilize them. Abe Kawa said he found that information out early Friday morning before weigh-ins.

“The whole plan was to use those two hours,” Abe Kawa said. “So everything we did from that point going forward in the weight cut was to use those extra two hours slotted to us.”

Abe Kawa said Illg told him she was making an “administrative call” to stop the weight cut despite clearance from doctors. Malki Kawa said Romero lost 20 percent of his purse due to missing weight and missed out on the $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus, too.

Illg referred reporters Friday to the Illinois state press office regarding the situation. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees the commission, has yet to respond to requests for comment from MMA Fighting.

Romero ended up falling to Whittaker by split decision in the fight, though many — including Romero and his team — thought Romero won or was at least a draw.

“I’m very professional,” Romero said. “That’s a decision for the judge. But I know I win. I know 100 percent I win. I know I don’t lose it. End of the day, the people know. The people see what happened. The people can see what’s going on, what happened Saturday night in Chicago. Honestly, I win the fight. But it is what it is.”

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