Yoel Romero is currently riding consecutive decision losses to UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, top contender Paulo Costa, and former champ Robert Whittaker, but his coach Mike Brown believes he’ll work his way back up to the top — even at 43 years old.
In fact, Brown feels Romero is the greatest athlete he’s ever worked with.
“He’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen, (even) at this age,” Brown told MMA Junkie, praising the Romero, who previously competed in wrestling in the Olympics. “What he can do with his body is incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it: speed, reaction time, agility. I mean, he’s in his 40s and his reaction time is incredible, the speed is incredible, his coordination is incredible.”
Brown, a former WEC champion, added that working with Romero has made him realize his own shortcomings in terms of athleticism.
“The more I see guys like him, the more I realize what a terrible athlete I am,” Brown said of Romero. “I can’t imagine what he was like when he was 30 or 25. It must have been unbelievable. I know he’s a world champion in wrestling and this is so difficult, wrestling is so deep and so many people are competing for the same title, it’s very competitive. He got a very late start in MMA and he’s done some amazing things.
“You have to worry about time catches up to everybody, but right now – how he looks in the gym and what he can do – I mean, I definitely see him getting back to the title,” the long-time Romero coach added.
While Romero is riding three-straight losses, all of losses were tight decisions to highly regarded middleweights — irrefutable proof that he remains one of the best in the world. At present, it’s not clear when or who he’ll fight next, but it will likely only take a few wins for him to work his way back into title contention.
Do you think Yoel Romero has another title run in him?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/6/2020.