If it appears that middleweight contender Yoel Romero has been the forgotten man in his UFC 205 matchup against native New Yorker Chris Weidman, Cuba’s “Soldier of God” hasn’t noticed.
“Forgotten by who?” Romero asked with a smile during Ultimate Media Day for Saturday’s bout at Madison Square Garden.
Not by the fight fans who have been eagerly anticipating the clash between the No. 4-ranked Romero and Weidman, the former UFC middleweight champion who currently sits in the No. 2-spot at 185 pounds. But even if Romero isn’t bothered by the attention being afforded his opponent, the reality is that the pre-fight focus of the media has been on Weidman fighting at home for the first time in his pro MMA career.
But the last one to compete in the Garden wasn’t Weidman, but Romero, a 2000 Olympic Silver medalist in freestyle wrestling who took to the mat in the mecca in 2003.
“I feel comfortable here,” said Romero, 39, who surprisingly still decided to leave NYC.
“That's correct,” he laughs. “This is a beautiful city.”
Romero, who carries an unbeaten seven-fight UFC streak into the Octagon this weekend, will likely have an even fonder place in his heart for the Big Apple if he wins, especially since it would put him firmly in line for a shot at champion Michael Bisping.
“The rumors that are going about is that whoever wins goes for the title,” said Romero, but he’s not looking that far ahead. Well, he is a little, and he wouldn’t mind contesting for the title in the Garden.
“Right now, I don't have much focus on the title, but it would serve as a great finish for my career,” Romero said. “Not only in my career, but in the career of any athlete. To have the opportunity to fight for a world title, here, in the mecca, would be extraordinary. But that's just a comment, that's not what I'm thinking about right now.”
More on UFC 205: Fight card for Nov. 12 | Reasons to watch | Champions Alvarez, McGregor to headline historic card | Woodley-Wonderboy welterweight title clash set | Polish stars Jedrzejczyk, Kowalkiewicz perfect for NYC | Preview the main card, and the prelims | By the Numbers: UFC 205 has big non-title fights too | Limited seats available | Pre-order the digital PPV