Devil’s Advocate | Romero vs Belfort?

Hey Buzz fans, as this week comes to a close, it’s been an interesting one to say the least. With UFC 256 approaching and Bellator 254 ending last night with a title change, with a few fighters being released and apparently many more to come. One name that comes to mind is longtime UFC Middleweight contender, Yoel Romero.

Me, like many, were shocked since Romero had been a staple in the division, even challenging for the belt four times but every time he came up a little short. His last fight was a shot at UFC gold when he had an extremely disappointing bout against Middleweight king Israel Adesanya in which he lost by decision. Since then he had been signed to fight Uriah Hall on August 22nd at UFC on ESPN 15, but for undisclosed reasons Romero pulled out of the fight. That doesn’t shy away from the fact that Yoel has had legendary fights against the likes of Robert Whitaker and an absolute brawl against Paolo Costa. In all, he’s a legend in the sport, and did I forget to mention a Gold Medalist in the Olympics for Cuba? I mean what organization would not want a fighter with credentials like Yoel Romero?

Well, aside from the UFC no longer needing his services, it appears that Scott Coker’s Bellator MMA has also passed on the “o.g.” as Coker would call him. I do understand that Bellator is trying to build homegrown stars and push them and letting go a lot of the older generation fighters like Rampage and Roy Nelson. But I honestly think there is more to it than that. There are a lot of good matches for Romero in Bellator, in Champion Gegard Mousasi, Lyoto Machida, and plenty of others, but the main concern for Bellator is the fact that he can still more than likely clear out 90% of the middleweight division in Bellator AND UFC. His only downfall is he couldn’t grab the gold in UFC. That still doesn’t mean that he isn’t a dangerous fighter. The biggest problem for Bellator is the same problem UFC had, it’s as if he is the ULTIMATE gatekeeper, and I don’t mean that as a slight.

If you have a young and hot prospect running through the rankings, and then to try and break the top five, you then run into Yoel Romero. Yeah, you can figure that out right? He could easily hold up the hot prospects, and that’s what I mean by the ultimate gatekeeper, he’s gonna be hard to get around simply because he is a different type of 44 year old. He’s been called a genetic freak of an athlete, and not a guy you wanna run across when you’re trying to move up a division. The same problem applies to Bellator, if you’re trying to build up new, homegrown talent, Romero is gonna be a problem. So aside from being released by the UFC, Bellator and PFL have also both passed, so that brings me to the one big promotion that hasn’t yet said no, and that is ONE MMA.

Chotri’s Malayasian based promotion isn’t often spoken about in the U.S market, but are a very serious promotion indeed. They have a lot of champions and fighters that casual fans wouldn’t know, but also have champions like Demetrious Johnson who made their name in the UFC. But the main person I think matches Romero is UFC and Brazilian legend, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Vitor signed with the ONE FC as a heavyweight on March 1 2019, and is supposed to fight his promotional debut against Alain Ngalani. But to me a dream match in the wait would be Yoel vs Vitor, and I think that it taking place in ONE FC would make it that much better for many reasons. Number one I am a huge ONE FC fan and that kind of big dream fight would definitely bring a lot of eyes to the already huge promotion. I think this for one reason in particular, no USADA testing over there, and we would definitely see the return of TRT Vitor. For any of you guys that don’t know what TRT is, its Testosterone Replacement Therapy which is generally used for low testosterone, but when a fighter abuses TRT you get jacked to the gills with muscle you never thought you had before! Need an example? Watch Vitor Belfort vs Michael Bisping in the UFC, you’ll see what I’m talking about. In the fight Belfort wheel kicked Bisping and knocked his eye socket loose and eventually failed the drug testing after the fight. But aside from the early explosive Vitor in early UFC (which still had very little testing) this is the most exciting version of Vitor we’ve ever seen. Now you throw in the fact that Romero is an absolute killer even at his advanced age vs TRT Belfort it is a dream match that if anyone is any kind of MMA fan, would love this fight. I’m not even the only one to acknowledge this as Vitor himself has told Lowkick MMA “Come on man, that guy is a beast and he’s my age so that would be great!”

This is a promotions dream fight to put on, and the fact that ONE FC has yet to put out a statement is hopefully an indicator that Rich Franklin (a VP at ONE) and the CEO and President of ONE FC “Chotri” will hopefully see the dollar signs, put the fight on and bring a lot of North American eyes to their already powerhouse MMA Promotion. 

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