UFC middleweight #1 contender Yoel Romero is currently gearing up for his UFC 213 showdown with fellow top ranked contender Robert Whittaker on July 9th. While the fight will be for the interim UFC middleweight championship given Michael Bisping’s inability to defend his belt due to a knee injury, Romero is ultimately still seeking a fight with Bisping in hopes of defeating The Count.
He spoke on The MMA Hour to discuss his plan to defeat Robbie Whittaker, and then fight Michael Bisping:
“NO, I TAKE THE INTERIM BELT, FIGHT FOR THE INTERIM BELT AND THEN I WAIT FOR MR. BISPING.” SAID ROMERO DURING A RECENT APPEARANCE ON THE MMA HOUR. “I AM NOT DISSATISFIED, I AM OKAY. YOU HAVE TO HAVE IN YOUR HEAD THAT YOU HAVE TO GO STEP-BY-STEP, AND MY GOAL RIGHT NOW IS TO FIGHT FOR THE TITLE AND THAT’S WHAT I AM GOING FOR. I AM GOING TO GET THAT TITLE.”
“IT’S NOT ONE SPECIFIC PERSON. NOW, THE FOOD WOULD’VE PROBABLY TASTED A BIT BETTER HAD IT BEEN AGAINST BISPING, AND EVERYBODY KNOWS WHY.”
While the beef between Romero and the middleweight champion has been an extremely bitter one, with both men taking shots at one another in various interviews. Given that, it may come as a bit of a surprise that Romero has nothing but good things to say about Whittaker as a fighter:
“HE’S A GREAT ATHLETE, HE’S DOING EVERYTHING THAT HE NEEDS TO DO TO BECOME A GREATER FIGHTER AND THE WORST MISTAKE ANY FIGHTER CAN MAKE IN FRONT OF WHITTAKER, IS TO UNDERESTIMATE HIM. HE IS A GREAT ATHLETE.”
Of course, while Romero is chomping at the bit for a fight with Bisping, Robert Whittaker has the opportunity to play spoiler to the plans of The Soldier Of God and continue tearing through the middleweight division.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/30/2017.