After Yoel Romero took out Luke Rockhold at UFC 221, there was no doubt that he deserved a title shot. Although, some did criticize the decision by the UFC to still award Romero with a chance at the belt after he missed weight. Former UFC fighter Jay Hieron was recently asked about the scenario and says Romero was already punished and no one else is as deserving.
“[Yoel Romero] got penalized. He’s not all happy right now. He got 30-percent of his purse taken, which is a lot. He has the belt – on his own stomach, in his own house right now, he could be interim belt champion, which he’s not. He’s penalized. But you go out and put a performance on like that, you can’t argue that. He should definitely get the shot. I get it. You’re in a different country. You’re in a totally different time frame. You’ve retained water, so it’s already not going as planned. I get it. He probably thought he could make weight.”
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) February 21, 2018
“It doesn’t matter. You go out and seal the deal like that against the No. 1 contender, the guy that was the former champion, the guy that was supposed to fight for the belt. And you’re the replacement? You take him out in that fashion, there’s no questions. You’re the next challenger. No fighter would say no and it doesn’t matter: After everything that happened, he went out there and sealed the deal. He’s the one that’s being penalized. He’s the one that has to feel everything. All the fans can say what they want.” — Jay Hieron speaking to MMA Junkie Radio.
By missing weight, Yoel Romero lost out on winning an interim belt, a sure-fire win bonus after his uppercut from hell, as well as getting fined 30-percent of his purse. He already took Robert Whittaker to a close decision back at UFC 213, which was his only loss since 2011. They’ll run it back soon enough, with UFC 225 in Chicago and a UFC card in Miami being discussed as possible locations.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/24/2018.