Romero in Dagestan
|Born||Yoel Romero Palacio
April 30, 1977
Pinar del Río, Cuba
|Other names||Soldier of God|
|Residence||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)|
|Reach||75.0 in (191 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Coconut Creek, Florida, United States|
|Team||American Top Team|
|Wrestling||Olympic Freestyle Wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Notable relatives||Yoan Pablo Hernández, brother|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|Competitor for Cuba|
|Men's Freestyle Wrestling|
|Silver||2000 Sydney||85 kg|
|Gold||1999 Ankara||85 kg|
|Silver||2002 Tehran||84 kg|
|Silver||2005 Budapest||84 kg|
|Bronze||1998 Tehran||85 kg|
|Bronze||2001 Krasnoyarsk||85 kg|
|Pan American Games|
|Gold||2003 Santo Domingo||85 kg|
|Bronze||1999 Winnipeg||85 kg|
Yoel Romero Palacio (born April 30, 1977) is a Cuban mixed martial artist (MMA) and former World Champion and Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. He competes in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and formerly competed in the now-defunct Strikeforce organization. Romero is #6 in the official UFC middleweight rankings.
Romero competed in both the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics, representing his home nation of Cuba. He won the silver medal in the 2000 freestyle competition, losing to Adam Saitiev in the finals. He finished in 4th place in 2004. While competing in freestyle wrestling, Romero defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson on two separate occasions.
He also represented Cuba at the senior level in the FILA Wrestling World Championships, which is held in non-Olympic years, from 1997-2005. At the 1999 World Wrestling Championships Romero became world champ by defeating the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Khadzhimurad Magomedov of Russia. He controversially missed out on becoming world champ again in 2002. After landing a 3 point throw against Adam Saitiev to take a 3-2 lead, Romero was penalized a point for passivity with 20 seconds remaining. In overtime after a scramble saw Romero end on top, it was judged Saitiev had scored in the interim.
Romero medaled in 5 total world championships, only missing out with his 5th place finish in 1997, and 6th place finish in 2003. Other notable achievements include a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games, a quadrennial competition held the year before the Olympics, as well as multiple 1st place finishes at the FILA Wrestling World Cup. Romero competed sparingly after 2005, and shortly after winning the Grand Prix of Germany in the summer of 2007, he relocated to Germany and began to pursue a career in MMA.
Mixed martial arts career
After defecting in 2007 to Germany, Romero made his professional mixed martial arts debut in December 2009. Over the next two years, he amassed an undefeated record of 4-0 in various promotions throughout Germany and Poland.
He won his debut via TKO against Sascha Weinpolter. He then took on Polish standout Michał Fijałka in his second bout. After a dominating performance, Yoel won in the third round via TKO, which was at first ruled a controversial disqualification, due to a knee on the ground thrown by Romero. In 2011, he won his next two fights via TKO in the first round.
Romero signed with Strikeforce in July 2011 and made his promotional debut against Rafael Cavalcante on September 10, 2011 at Strikeforce 36. He lost the fight via KO in the second round. A neck injury kept him out of action until 2013.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Romero made his UFC and middleweight debut against Clifford Starks on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7. He won the fight via KO in the first round. The win also earned him Knockout of the Night honors.
Romero was expected to face Derek Brunson on August 31, 2013 at UFC 164. However, Brunson suffered an injury and pulled out of the bout. Promotional newcomer Brian Houston was briefly linked as a replacement, however Houston was not medically cleared to compete at the event and the bout was cancelled.
For his third fight, Romero was again set to face Derek Brunson on January 15, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 35. After trailing for two rounds, Romero won the fight in the third via TKO due to punches that dropped Brunson and subsequent elbows to the body. Both fighters earned a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus award.
Romero faced Tim Kennedy on September 27, 2014 at UFC 178. He won the fight via TKO in the third round, giving Kennedy his first stoppage loss in thirteen years. Romero was saved by the bell when he got visibly stunned and nearly finished in the final seconds of the second round. There was controversy when Romero initially failed to answer the bell for the third round and received extra time to recover. The win also earned Romero his second Fight of the Night bonus award.
Physique Magazine describes Romero as a "Jewish Cuban" while Romero describes himself as "a man of God" whose hero is Jesus Christ. His younger brother, Yoan Pablo Hernández, is a Cruiserweight Champion in professional boxing.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|10 matches||9 wins||1 loss|
|Win||9–1||Tim Kennedy||TKO (punches)||UFC 178||September 27, 2014||3||0:38||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||8–1||Brad Tavares||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne||April 19, 2014||3||5:00||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||7–1||Derek Brunson||TKO (punches & elbows)||UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou||January 15, 2014||3||3:23||Duluth, Georgia, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||6–1||Ronny Markes||KO (punches)||UFC: Fight for the Troops 3||November 6, 2013||3||1:39||Fort Campbell, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||5–1||Clifford Starks||KO (flying knee & punches)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez||April 20, 2013||1||1:32||San Jose, California, United States||Middleweight debut; Knockout of the Night.|
|Loss||4–1||Rafael Cavalcante||KO (punches & knee)||Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov||September 10, 2011||2||4:51||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Win||4–0||Laszlo Eck||KO (punch)||Fight of the Night 2011||May 27, 2011||1||0:33||Greding, Germany|
|Win||3–0||Nikita Petrovs||TKO (retirement)||SFC 3: MMA Fight Night||March 5, 2011||1||2:58||Giessen, Germany|
|Win||2–0||Michał Fijałka||TKO (retirement)||IFF: The Eternal Struggle||October 8, 2010||3||4:05||Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland|
|Win||1–0||Sascha Weinpolter||TKO (punches)||Fight of the Night 2009||December 20, 2009||1||0:48||Nuremberg, Germany|
- "Light-heavyweight prospect Yoel Romero inks new Strikeforce deal". MMAjunkie.
- "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Werdum vs. Browne". UFC.com. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- Mike Chiappetta (2011-07-27). "Former Olympian Yoel Romero signs with Strikeforce, will face Feijão in debut". MMAfighting.com. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- "UFC Fighter Rankings".
- http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ro/yoel-romero-1.html Sports References
- "Die Wochen der Wahrheit – Doppelkampftag steht an" (in German). www.ringen.de. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "Yoel Romero Palacio vs. Michał Fijałka". groundandpound.de. October 5, 2010. (in German)
- "Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Yoel Romero slotted for September 10 Strikeforce event". mmajunkie.com. 2011-07-21.
- "Yoel Romero vs Clifford Starks set for UFC on FOX 7". bloodyelbow.com. January 23, 2013.
- Staff (2013-04-20). "UFC on FOX 7 bonuses: Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson earn $50,000". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- Staff (2013-06-17). "UFC 164 Gains Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- Staff (2013-08-14). "UFC 164 loses Yoel Romero vs. Brian Houston, card finalized with 12 bouts". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- Jamie Penick (2013-08-23). "UFC Fight for the Troops card adds Yoel Romero vs. Ronny Markes". mmatorch.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Staff (2013-11-26). "UFC Fight Night 35 adds Yoel Romero vs. Derek Brunson". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- ""UFC Fight Night 35 Bonuses: Rockhold, Miller, Romero, Brunson Earn $50K Awards", by Mike Whitman, Sherdog.com". Sherdog.
- UFC News (2014-02-04). "#UFCFightNight in Orlando bout update! @bambamhealy vs @GamebredFighter and @BradTavares vs @YoelRomeroMMA. Tix on sale next Friday.". UFC. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- Zane Simon (2014-07-08). "Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 178 in Las Vegas". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- Marc Raimondi and Damon Martin (2014-09-28). "Stoolgate: Tim Kennedy irate about controversial loss to Yoel Romero". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
- Matt Erickson (2014-09-28). "UFC 178 bonuses: McGregor, Cruz, Romero, Kennedy earn $50,000". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
- Brian Martin (2014-11-13). "UFC 184: Jacare Souza vs. Yoel Romero added to Staples Center card". dailynews.com. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
- "Yoel Romero Interview". Fight Geeks.
- "UFC Fight Night 35's Yoel Romero: By the Grace of God". The MMA Corner.
- "New UFC Fighter a Knockout".
- Trey Downey. "UFC's Yoel Romero: Ready For Next Step at Middleweight". The MMA Corner.