5 Things You Might Not Know About Yoel Romero

By: Brian Knapp
Sep 15, 2021


Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC, PFL, Dana White’s Contender Series and “The Ultimate Fighter” live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

Yoel Romero now begins what can only be described as his final push.

The longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship contender will make his Bellator MMA debut opposite Phil Davis in the Bellator 266 main event on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Romero enters the cage on the heels of a three-fight losing streak, as he seeks his first win since in more than three years. The 44-year-old last appeared at UFC 248, where he lost a unanimous decision to Israel Adesanya and failed in his bid to dethrone the reigning middleweight champion on March 7, 2020.

As Romero makes final preparations for his showdown with Davis, here are five things you might not know about him:

1. His roots sprang from fertile soil.


Romero was born on April 30, 1977 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba—a city of some 200,000 people on the western end of the island nation. He shares a hometown with Mijain Lopez, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, and a number of distinguished professional baseball players, including Tony Oliva, who was a three-time American League batting champion with the Minnesota Twins.

2. He was a beast in the singlet.


“The Soldier of God” ranks as one of the most accomplished amateur freestyle wrestlers ever to enter mixed martial arts. In addition to the silver medal Romero claimed at the 2000 Summer Olympics, he struck gold at the 1999 World Wrestling Championships in Ankara, Turkey, and was a five-time gold medalist (1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007) at the Pan American Championships. He also won the Wrestling World Cup on three different occasions (1998, 2000, 2005).

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC, PFL, Dana White’s Contender Series and “The Ultimate Fighter” live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

3. He was a late arrival.


Romero did not make his professional MMA debut until he was 32 years of age and at the supposed tail end of his competitive prime. Nevertheless, he remains one of the sport’s more physically imposing specimens in terms of build and fast-twitch athleticism.

4. Resilience has been an asset.


The American Top Team standout has proven remarkably durable throughout his 12-year career in mixed martial arts. Romero suffered his only stoppage loss on Sept. 10, 2011, when Rafael Cavalcante brought him down with punches in the second round of their encounter under the Strikeforce banner.

5. Strength of schedule became a selling point.


Nearly a third of his 13 professional victories have come and four of his five losses have come to former UFC or Strikeforce champions. Romero has beaten Lyoto Machida, Ronaldo Souza, Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold while losing to Adesanya, Cavalcante and Robert Whittaker (twice). Advertisement
« Previous Next »

More

Fighter Profiles

GRRRR!!!More on Sherdog.com Mobile