Romero, who is 1-3 in his last four, hasn’t recorded a win inside the octagon since his brutal knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 but in many people’s eyes, could well have been given the decision against both Paulo Costa and in his second showdown against the former champion Robert Whittaker.
It’s important to note as well that it was Israel himself who called on Romero as his first title defense. Citing him as something of a boogeyman within the middleweight title picture, Adesanya seemed to relish the prospect of taking out the perennial contender as the first feather in his cap as champion.
Speaking to MMAJunkie ahead of his octagon return this weekend, Yoel gave an insight into his walk-around weight, his in-camp weight, and how it relates to his decision to continue to ply his trade at 185lbs.
“When I’m training, I go down, and when I’m training, normally when I have a good training, (I weigh a) maximum 210lbs.
“It’s not possible. When I’m not training, boom – yeah, heavyweight. But when I’m training – 210, 208, 210, 208. It’s not possible for me. It’s not possible because I’m training good.”
This could well come as a surprise to those who look at a fighter like Romero, with all of his physical gifts, and see him as a solid fit for the 205lbs.
Even now, at 42, Yoel could well continue to be a major player in the 185lb class – especially if he brings home championship gold this weekend.
But no matter what, according to the man himself, the 20lb leap up to 205lbs comes with a set of physical demands that don’t seem to be of interest to the Cuban – at this point in his career.
“I have respect for my job. When I’m training, I know what I need to do for good training.
“When you don’t sleep good, and when, something wrong happens: mistake. When I have a good training, it’s not possible to go up. The (potential opponents) are so heavy.”
Many had pointed to Romero’s explosiveness and athletic ability as something of a potential foil for the current light-heavyweight king Jon Jones – a man who, despite also being linked with a move up in weight – does at least appear to be content to stick around at 205lbs for the foreseeable future.
With that being said, who knows how those 12lbs of gold will affect Yoel’s decision – if he does, in fact, prove successful on Saturday night.
The notion of a super-fight – one that would stand as the first of Jon Jones’ career – could well be too much to pass up on for the Soldier Of God.