Yoel Romero trashes Luke Rockhold for avoiding him, eyes another middleweight rival

Yoel Romero

Top UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero is having a tough time finding an opponent. Having recently come up short against reigning champion Robert Whittaker, he was hoping his next fight would be against former champion Luke Rockhold, but unfortunately, Rockhold took a fight with David Branch – an opponent Romero considers much easier than himself.

“I don’t understand why [Rockhold] said no,” Romero said on the MMA Hour (h/t MMAMania). “I don’t understand. Maybe he had a strategy in the mind. He say, ‘No I wont fight Yoel, I will fight somebody easy.’ Respect to David Branch, but that’s the way he thinks, you know? That’s Luke’s mentality, ‘I want a more easy fight, win and Yoel Romero lose his last fight.”

“He needed a fight with me and the winner [of the] fight with Robert,” Romero continued. “The problem is UFC has a show in Australia and [Australia’s Whittaker] is the champion right now in my division. So he needed somebody and UFC gave it to Luke Rockhold because he win his last fight.”

With Rockhold off the table – and apparently Kelvin Gastelum too – Yoel Romero is now just hoping for a fight. Ideally, he says, when the UFC touches down in Orlando this February, and perhaps even against Michael Bisping.

“I am waiting for UFC [to find me] a fight,” he said, “I want to main event Feb. 24 in Orlando. I am waiting for the fight for Luke Rockhold, but I know now he has a fight with Robert. Now I am waiting for somebody. But nobody say ‘Yes, I want to fight Yoel.’ So give me somebody, maybe Michael Bisping.”

Prior to his decision loss to Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero was on a ridiculous, eight fight streak highlighted by wins over Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, “Jacare” Souza, and Chris Weidman.

If not Luke Rockhold or Kelvin Gastelum, who do you want to see Yoel Romero fight next?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 19/12/2017.