While Yoel Romero is undeniably the #1 contender at middleweight following his vicious 3rd round KO of Chris Weidman this past weekend at UFC 205, Romero is also on the receiving end of quite a bit of criticism given his controversial mid-fight antics.
The most notable situation came back in 2014, when Romero was nearly finished by Kennedy at the end of the 2nd round of their UFC 178 fight. Between the second and third rounds, Romero and his corner engaged in several blatantly obvious acts to allow him more time to recover before the start of the third round, ultimately buying ‘Soldier Of God’ an extra minute on the stool. When the third round started, Romero went out and TKOd Kennedy just 58 seconds into the round.
In addition, following Romero’s razor thin split decision win over Jacare Souza at UFC 194, where he grabbed the cage to stop a takedown, he failed a drug test for PEDs. With that being said, it was determined that the failed drug test was the result of a tainted supplement, not outright steroid usage. Despite that, Romero has continued to be criticized for the situation.
This past weekend at UFC 205, Romero once again found himself in a controversial situation as he and his corner purposely dumped water all over his body between rounds, forcing the referee to delay the start of the next round while he dried Romero off.
The way Fox Sports 1 analyst, and former fighter, Brian Stann sees it, Romero needs to stop these antics. He spoke on Sirius XM:
“[This guy will do] anything, bending the rules, anything. And in my opinion, it needs to get stopped. I think it’s up to people like me, in the media, who have a voice, to make sure he understands that, ‘hey Yoel, we see you doing it, we see your corner doing it.’ The commissions need to see, and look back on the film, and there may be some people who aren’t allowed to corner you anymore if they’re going to continue these antics. You gotta answer the bell and get off the stool, no matter how tired you are. We’ve seen that trick too many times before. You gotta stop grabbing the fence. Referees, when it’s egregious and could alter the position of a fight, they’re gonna take a point away from this guy. And they gotta do that. They need to do that with this guy, and hold him accountable because in every fight we’re seeing some of this stuff.”