UFC president Dana White is looking for the next opponent for Israel Adesanya, and it looks like Yoel Romero may be the frontrunner to take that spot.
With Paulo Costa injured and out of action until mid-2020 with a biceps injury, the UFC needs to find someone else for Adesanya to fight. The new UFC middleweight champion has been going back-and-forth on social media with Romero, and it looks like the trash talk has drawn the intrigue of White, who appears to be interested in booking the fight.
Speaking to reporters before UFC 244, White admitted he likes the sounds of Yoel Romero vs. Adesanya, but cautioned the UFC hasn’t decided anything just yet.
“What I love is is that Israel is such a badass that he literally says everybody thinks Yoel Romero is so tough, and this guy’s so whatever. He calls out Yoel Romero. I respect that, I love it. When you have a champion that’s willing to fight anybody — most of these guys would say, ‘I ain’t fighting Yoel Romero, he’s got two losses (in a row) or whatever’ — he’s still the No. 3 ranked guy in the world and he’s a bad boy. And those losses that he had were narrow. We’ll figure it out. We’ll figure out what’s next for Adesanya,” White said.
White also shared some advice for Costa, who has suggested he could be back in just a few months despite just having surgery on his arm. Not so, says White.
“I know it’s killing Paulo Costa because they said he can come back in April. No, the doctor said you can start training in April, that doesn’t mean you can come back in April. And with those type of injuries, you don’t know how long it’s going to be or how fast he really will recover. What I don’t want him to do is to rush it, hurt himself, and make it even longer. Do what the doctor tells you to do and heal up. You’re not going anywhere. Relax,” White said.
With UFC 244 taking place this weekend, the winner of the co-main event between Darren Till and Kelvin Gastelum could also factor into Adesanya’s next opponent. But Romero at this point does seem to have the inside track.
Do you think the UFC will book Yoel Romero vs. Israel Adesanya?