In a surprising move, one of the UFC’s best known middleweight stars Yoel Romero has been released prematurely from his contract.
Romero still had three fights left on his current deal, but for reasons that as yet have not been revealed, the 43-year-old ‘Soldier Of God’s’ seven-and-a-half year stint in the Octagon has come to an end.
“While we didn’t expect Romero’s time in the UFC to end like this, we are grateful for the opportunities [UFC president] Dana White, [general counsel] Hunter Campbell and [matchmaker] Mick Maynard gave him over the years,” Romero’s agent Malki Kawa told ESPN. “He’s ready to move on now and resume his career, and we are already talking to other promotions as we speak.”
Romero had been on a three-fight losing streak, and indeed had one picked up one win in his last five fights, but that doesn’t tell the full story.
The reality was that four of those bouts were title shots of one kind or another, going up against Robert Whittaker twice, in addition to Luke Rockhold and most recently Israel Adesanya, all of whom he fought to a decision.
Despite his advanced years, Romero was still one of the UFC’s most feared fighters, with the physically imposing former Olympic wrestling silver medalist being considered a freak athlete who has big power yet also explosive speed for his size and could deliver highlight reel finishes out of thin air.
Anderson Silva recently was also released from the UFC and has struggled to find promotion’s showing an interest in signing him, but don’t expect that to be the case for Romero, who still has the ability to be a major force despite his age and is certain to be in a high-demand by MMA’s other leading promotions around the world.