Yoel Romero

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Yoel Romero
Yoel Romero.jpg
Romero in Dagestan
Born Yoel Romero Palacio
(1977-04-30) April 30, 1977 (age 37)
Pinar del Río, Cuba
Other names Soldier of God
Residence Miami, Florida
Nationality Cuban[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Division Light Heavyweight
Reach 75.0 in (191 cm)[2]
Fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida
Team American Top Team
Wrestling Olympic Freestyle Wrestling
Years active 2009-present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 9
Wins 8
By knockout 7
By decision 1
Losses 1
By knockout 1
Notable relatives Yoan Pablo Hernández, brother[3]
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Yoel Romero
Medal record
Competitor for  Cuba
Men's Freestyle Wrestling
Olympic Games
Silver 2000 Sydney 85 kg
World Championships
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 considered a phenomenon in terms of athleticism and explosiveness.[4] He is the most credentialed wrestler in the UFC.[5] Romero is #12 in the official UFC middleweight rankings.[6]

Romero is a devout Christian, and thus has given himself the nickname Soldier of God.[7][8][9] His younger brother is Professional boxing cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernández.[10]

Olympic career[edit]

Romero competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics representing his home nation of Cuba. He won the silver medal in the freestyle competition, losing to Adam Saitiev in the finals.[11] While competing in freestyle wrestling, Romero defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson on three separate occasions.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After defecting in 2007 to Germany,[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] He lost the fight via KO in the second round.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Romero made his UFC and middleweight debut against Clifford Starks on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7.[15] He won the fight via KO in the first round. The win also earned him Knockout of the Night honors.[16]

Romero was expected to face Derek Brunson on August 31, 2013 at UFC 164.[17] 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 subsequently scrapped.[18]

In his second UFC bout, Romero faced Ronny Markes on November 6, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 31.[19] He won the fight via knockout in the third round.

For his third fight, Romero was again set to face Derek Brunson on January 15, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 35.[20] 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.[21]

In his fourth fight, Romero faced Brad Tavares at UFC on Fox 11.[22] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Romero is expected to fight Tim Kennedy on September 27, 2014 at UFC 178.[23]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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 to the body) 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 TKO (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


  1. ^ http://mmajunkie.com/2011/07/light-heavyweight-prospect-yoel-romero-inks-new-strikeforce-deal/
  2. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Werdum vs. Browne". UFC.com. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ Mike Chiappetta (2011-07-27). "Former Olympian Yoel Romero signs with Strikeforce, will face Feijão in debut". MMAfighting.com. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  4. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2035724-ufc-on-fox-11-yoel-romero-is-the-real-deal
  5. ^ http://insidefights.com/2014/04/18/ufc-on-fox-11-preview-yoel-romero-vs-brad-tavares/
  6. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  7. ^ http://fightgeeks.com/yoel-romero-interview/
  8. ^ http://themmacorner.com/2014/01/06/ufc-fight-night-35s-yoel-romero-by-the-grace-of-god/
  9. ^ http://fitnessrxformen.com/sports/new-ufc-fighter-a-knockout/
  10. ^ http://themmacorner.com/2013/11/01/ufc-fight-nights-yoel-romero-ready-to-take-the-next-step-in-middleweight-division/
  11. ^ http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ro/yoel-romero-1.html Sports References
  12. ^ "Die Wochen der Wahrheit – Doppelkampftag steht an" (in German). www.ringen.de. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Yoel Romero Palacio vs. Michał Fijałka". groundandpound.de. October 5, 2010.  (in German)
  14. ^ "Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Yoel Romero slotted for September 10 Strikeforce event". mmajunkie.com. 2011-07-21. 
  15. ^ "Yoel Romero vs Clifford Starks set for UFC on FOX 7". bloodyelbow.com. January 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ Staff (2013-04-20). "UFC on FOX 7 bonuses: Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson earn $50,000". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  17. ^ Staff (2013-06-17). "UFC 164 Gains Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  18. ^ Staff (2013-08-14). "UFC 164 loses Yoel Romero vs. Brian Houston, card finalized with 12 bouts". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  19. ^ Jamie Penick (2013-08-23). "UFC Fight for the Troops card adds Yoel Romero vs. Ronny Markes". mmatorch.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  20. ^ Staff (2013-11-26). "UFC Fight Night 35 adds Yoel Romero vs. Derek Brunson". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  21. ^ "UFC Fight Night 35 Bonuses: Rockhold, Miller, Romero, Brunson Earn $50K Awards", by Mike Whitman, Sherdog.com
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ Zane Simon (2014-07-08). "Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 178 in Las Vegas". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 

External links[edit]