Yoel Romero took the mic from Jon Anik after his big KO win over Lyoto Machida at last night’s UFC Fight Night 70 event in Florida, apologized for his poor English, and then proceeded to go on a religious rant that almost landed him in hot water due to a misheard remark that sounded like an attack on gay marriage.
“I want to say something,” Romero stated in the Octagon. “I try in English. So sorry if the people don’t understand me but I try. Hey! Hey U.S.A., hey Miami! Hey Florida! Listen people, listen, listen! Listen! What happened to you, U.S.A.? What happened to you? What’s going on? You forget the best of the best of the world, the name of Jesus Christ! What happened to you? Wake up, U.S.A.! Go, go back where you gone. Go for Jesus! No forget Jesus people!”
Unfortunately, due to Romero’s broken English and heavy Cuban accent his last comment was misheard by some as, “No for gay Jesus!” instea of, “No forget Jesus!” which was immediately interpreted as a slight on the big news of the past few days that gay marriage has now been legalized across the U.S.
If that had been the case Romero would likely have been quickly punished by the UFC who’s official Code Of Conduct forbids fighters from making homophobic remarks, but after realizing that there had been a misunderstanding, the middleweight fighter immediately sought to clarify what he meant in his interviews backstage.
“What I was trying to say in the Octagon was for the American Dream,” Romero said at the post-fight press conference. “There was a misunderstanding about gay marriage. And I want to say something. God told Maria Magdelena, ‘you’re a prostitute, go and don’t sin anymore.’ And he told her with love. Who am I to judge anybody? Even though I didn’t refer to that [gay marriage], even though there was a misunderstanding, I will tell you guys something. God made man to be free. Anybody could do whatever they want. I wouldn’t be the type of person to critique anybody. I gotta look at myself first. Be a better person. To be able to love people. I didn’t refer to anybody. What I was trying to say, the United States, thank you for giving me the American Dream. There’s no better country than this because it is blessed by God.”
It was an unfortunate incident and perhaps will serve as a lesson that fighters would be better off sticking to answering questions about their fights rather than going off-topic.
Listen to Romero’s post-fight comments for yourselves in the video below.