According to a recent addition of UFC Tonight, Cuban middleweight Yoel Romero (9-1) has his sights set on opponents among the 185lb division’s top-5 contenders following his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy last month at UFC 178.
Having battled his way to the #6 spot, the former Olympic wrestler wishes to stake claim to a UFC title shot with victory over one of the top-5 contenders; however, he may be required to wait if not settle for slightly less with the majority of top contenders currently booked for fights already. Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, and Luke Rockhold are all currently occupied in match ups that may considerably shuffle the top-10 rankings while #2 ranked ‘Jacare’ Souza has previously stated his own desire for bigger things.
The winner of Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping on Nov. 8 may well provide the next step for Romero with Machida vs. C.B. Dolloway being the next closest fight on Dec. 20. Souza himself may well be paired with the 37-year-old; however, in addition, Brazil’s Thales Leites is gradually reasserting himself once again as a serious middleweight contender with four straight victories since returning to the UFC; placing him on the cusp of breaking into the top-10.
Undefeated in the UFC with five consecutive victories including four KO/TKO wins, Romero most recently turned heads on Sept. 27 by ending the impressive run of American Tim Kennedy. However, the third round TKO was not without controversy; seemingly tired and moments from defeat at the end of round 2, Romero was able to take advantage of an extended breather when confusion ensued between the Cuban and his corner, the commission representative, and referee as the UFC employed cutman applied too much Vaseline that needed to be removed. Nonetheless, both fighters came out swinging for the final round with Romero snatching an impressive hard fought victory.