Before the recent confirmation of the cancellation and postponement of UFC events for the foreseeable future, an interesting rematch of faltering middleweight contenders was discussed for UFC 250 on May 9th.
Recent middleweight title challenger, Yoel ‘The Soldier Of God’ Romero, was tentatively linked to a re-run with former division champion, Chris ‘The All American’ Weidman, after the pair first met at UFC 205 in 2016. According to Romero’s manager, First Round Management’s, Malki Kawa, the Cuban was offered a bout with Weidman for UFC 250 on May 9th. – before the postponement of the event.
Romero, who dropped a rather forgettable unanimous decision to Israel Adesanya at UFC 248 in March, is currently recovering from an orbital bone injury – while Weidman was in need of a new opponent after Jack Hermansson was left stranded in his native Norway due to travel restrictions which were implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on an Instagram live video earlier this week, Kawa spoke about the potential rematch – before further explaining how Romero may possibly make a much-anticipated move to light heavyweight for the first time since his first professional defeat to Rafael Feijão, during his Strikeforce tenure in 2011.
“They actually offered us (Chris) Weidman for this next fight, but Yoel (Romero) has an orbital eye injury, and I was waiting to see if I could get him cleared to fight [on] May 9th., and they cancelled the event. He might fight Weidman at 205(-pounds), or anybody at 205(-pounds) depending on how much time we have to get prepared. If not, he’s going to fight mostly at 185(-pounds).“
In their initial meeting back in November 2016 at Madison Square Garden, Romero launched a third round flying-knee, knocking Weidman out, causing a rather abhorrent cut on the side of the former champion’s head as a result. Romero would go on to issue a call-out to then undisputed champion, Michael Bisping, before dropping a decision to Robert Whittaker in the first of two championship clashes.
The Pinal del Rio born freestyle-wrestling Olympic silver medalist has been linked with a move to 205-pounds for an extended period of time. The recently turned 43-year-old has tipped the scales on two separate occasions in his Octagon stint – leaving him ineligible to win the middleweight championship.
In the run-up to UFC 230 in November of 2018, a title bout between former challenger, Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson, and Romero was tentatively planned in a bout which would mark The American Top Team mainstay’s first venture at 205-pounds under the UFC banner. As for potential opponent, Weidman, the former champion has tested light heavyweight waters previously.
The New York native made his most recent Octagon walk against recent title challenger, Dominick Reyes, losing via first-round knockout, marking his fifth knockout defeat in six outings.