Yoel Romero believes he is the next contender to the UFC middleweight title and reigning champion Robert Whittaker.
Despite missing weight for his planned interim title fight with Luke Rockhold recently, Romero has been told by the UFC that he will challenge Whittaker.
When and where, though, remains a mystery.
“I don’t have an idea (of when),” Romero said recently on The MMA Hour (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “Maybe July? I don’t know when. I hear he’s sick, he’s feeling no good, he’s feeling very bad. I pray for him. I’m waiting. I’m waiting for him.”
Romero went on to finish Luke Rockhold at UFC 221, but was ineligible to win the interim title after missing weight. Whittaker, meanwhile, is sidelined after a nasty staph infection that knocked him out of a planned main event that night vs. Rockhold from the Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia.
The 40-year-old Romero (13-2) has finished Rockhold, Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida, while also besting Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. All four are former UFC or Strikeforce champions.
“I try to stay (living) a very clean life and very quiet, but I think this is God. Believe me, I think it’s God,” Romero said. “It’s God. But if you go to Cuba, you can see many people like me too. Normal people. Normal people, not athletes. Normal people on the street. Many people are like this. But you can look like this but you can’t fight, because it’s different. That’s why, I think, this is (because of) God.”
Whittaker (19-4), meanwhile, claimed the interim title back in 2017 with that win over Romero. He was elevated to the undisputed champion when Georges St-Pierre relinquished the belt after besting Michael Bisping.
Romero is hopeful for the title fight to take place in Miami, which is now calls home, or possibly Cuba.