Earlier this month, on the main card of UFC 205, Cuba’s Yoel Romero levelled former middleweight champion Chris Weidman with a thunderous, third round flying knee. With this incredible knockout win, Romero established himself as the clear-cut number-one-contender at middleweight, and immediately set his sights on a scrap with divisional champion Michael Bisping.
Though Bisping initially said he had no interest in fighting Romero – citing the Cuban’s early 2016 brush with USADA – he later conceded that he would accept a fight with him after all. When he did so, he explained that he hoped the fight would occur sometime in the spring.
Well, its looking like Bisping will be fighting Romero a little earlier than he initially planned.
On Tuesday morning, Romero took to Twitter to suggest that, if the rumors are true, he’ll be hosting Bisping’s “retirement party” on January 21. This would mean a scrap at UFC 208 in Anaheim, California.
— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) November 22, 2016
If Romero indeed fights Bisping for the title on January 21, he’ll enter the bout with eight straight wins in his wake. The most notable of these wins have seen him defeat Derek Brunson, Lyoto Machida, Tim Kennedy, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and of course, Weidman.
Bisping, meanwhile, would enter this rumored showdown having just wrapped up the best year of his career. The English champ began the year by taking a decision from middleweight legend Anderson Silva in one of the year’s best fights. He followed this defeat of Silva with a shocking, first-round knockout of then champion Luke Rockhold – the win that would kickstart his unlikely title reign. From there, Bisping would make a successful defense of his title, handing the retiring Dan Henderson a razor thin decision loss. With the win, Bisping avenged a highlight reel 2009 knockout loss to Henderson.
Despite Bisping’s incredible 2016, he’s almost certain to enter this rumored bout with Romero as a significant underdog. Who do you think comes out on top when Bisping and Romero fight for middleweight gold? Sound off, PENN Nation!