There is no denying the monstrous talent of Yoel Romero. The Cuban wrestler is one of the best middleweights in the world, and when he fights Michael Bisping for the belt in early 2017, he could would establish himself as the best outright.
Unfortunately, Romero has developed a bit of a reputation for his tendency to play with the rules. The most noteworthy example of this problem occurred in a 2014 bout with Tim Kennedy, when he took extra time to get off his stool between rounds two and three – this after being badly hurt by Kennedy as the second round ended.
Romero also generated a bit of controversy in his recent fight with Chris Weidman, which he won with a third round, flying knee knockout. During the break between rounds one and two, Romero could be seen dumping water on himself, which meant that his corner had to take extra time to dry him off before the second round could begin. This was seen by many as an overt attempt to generate a little bit of extra recovery time between rounds.
On a recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered Podcast, Weidman’s longtime coach Ray Longo discussed this controversial moment. Unsurprisingly, he isn’t particularly thrilled about it.
“He was pouring water on his own head,” Longo said. “Again, I don’t want to bring that up because it is what it is, it sounds like sour grapes. Put it this way, in the back we told [referee Mario] Yamasaki that [Romero is] going to look for time, that he’s done it before, and Yamasaki was right with us.”
“But there you go, they pan over to him in the corner and he’s pouring water over his own head. He took the bottle and he just started dumping water over his own head so that they had to come in, clean up the water. You know what, when you are at that level, 10-20 seconds can make a big difference.”
At the end of the day, Longo believes that Romero simply has a lack of respect for the rules.
“Well I think only because they warned him about it before the fight and he still did it,” Longo said. “I think it’s a lack of respect for what he’s being told and he’s blatantly just not followed the rules. They could’ve done something, but you know, I think it would’ve been the first time.”
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