Earlier this month, in the main event of UFC 213, Cuba’s Yoel Romero stepped into the cage with Robert Whittaker in an interim middleweight title fight. Despite a strong start, Romero lost this fight by unanimous decision, thereby losing his chance a a title-unifying showdown with undisputed champ Michael Bisping.
While Romero understands he’s lost this chance for the moment, however, he still wants to fight Bisping as soon as possible – whether it’s for the belt or not. This desire stems in large part from Bisping’s controversial ripping up of a Cuban flag during Romero’s fight with Whittaker.
Romero explained his desire for a fight with Bisping on the most recent episode of The MMA Hour.
“He doesn’t respect my flag, he doesn’t respect me, and that’s not good,” he said (h/t Danny Segura of MMAFighting.com). “He needs to fight me. Belt or no belt, he needs to fight me. I told Dana White to give me this guy, I want this guy. I know I lost my chance to fight for the belt, but if Whittaker can’t fight due to injury, then I’d say, ‘Dana, give me the guy whether it’s belt or no belt. I need to fight him because he needs to respect me.”
While Whittaker is the most deserving man of a fight with Bisping, we recently learned that he’s dealing with some leg injuries, and that he could be sidelined until 2018. To Romero, this looks like the perfect chance for a score-settling fight with Bisping.
“Yeah, because I want to return to training because I hear that Whittaker is injured and I want to know what’s going to happen,” Romero explained. “I want to fight Bisping whether it’s for a belt or no belt because he doesn’t respect my country, my flag. Someone needs to close his mouth because he talks a lot and I never got payback. He needs to pay because this is not good. A fight is a fight, but you can’t talk shit about the country, about family because that’s a serious, serious thing.”
“F*ck him, you know? F*ck him, that’s it.”
Do you want to see Yoel Romero and Michael Bisping fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/24/2017.