Israel Adesanya has taken a cheeky shot at middleweight contender Yoel Romero, implying that the veteran has cheated in the past.
Adesanya is coming off of his UFC Middleweight Championship triumph over Robert Whittaker at UFC 243, which firmly established him as the king of the 185-pound division. Romero, on the other hand, recently lost a close decision to Paulo Costa, which marked a third loss in his last four fights.
Despite that, it seems as if the UFC is interested in the idea of pitting these two men against one another, with Costa’s recent injury throwing a spanner into the works at the top of the rankings.
Adesanya recently spoke with MMA Fighting as he looks ahead to what could be next for him and the title.
“I want to defend my title again in February or March,” he said. “Because homeboy [Paulo Costa], the guy I called out next, he’s been put out for a while. He can’t fight for eight months so I want to try and get whoever I can, probably [Yoel] Romero is who I’m asking for, either February or March.”
“I think his skill set as a wrestler [makes him dangerous],” Adesanya said. “Also, he’s got some interesting tactics — stoolgate, never make weight, pulling out — he has his ways. As Eddie Guerrero says ‘if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying’ and he has wisdom for trying.”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the legend that is Eddie Guerrero, the former WWE star’s gimmick towards the end of his career revolved around cheating to win matches.
While this is probably nothing more than a fun attempt to draw out a reaction from “The Soldier of God” as the hype behind this fight intensifies, Adesanya may want to be careful – because Romero isn’t someone who plays around.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/5/2019.