Yoel Romero

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Yoel Romero
Yoel Romero.jpg
Romero in 2008
BornYoel Romero Palacio
(1977-04-30) April 30, 1977 (age 45)[1]
Pinar del Río, Cuba
Other namesSoldier of God
ResidenceMiami, Florida, U.S
NationalityCuban American
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
DivisionLight heavyweight
(2009–2011, 2021–present)
Reach73 in (185 cm)
StyleFreestyle wrestling
Fighting out ofCoconut Creek, Florida, U.S.
TeamAmerican Top Team
WrestlingOlympic Freestyle Wrestling[2]
Years active2009–present (MMA)
1997–2005, 2007 (freestyle wrestling)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout13
By decision2
By knockout1
By decision5
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record
Freestyle wrestling
Representing  Cuba
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games - 1 -
World Championships 1 2 2
World Cup 3 2 1
Pan American Games 1 - 1
Pan American Championships 5 - -
Total 10 5 4
Olympic Games
Olympic rings without rims.svg
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney 85 kg
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1999 Ankara 85 kg
Silver medal – second place 2002 Tehran 84 kg
Silver medal – second place 2005 Budapest 84 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Tehran 85 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Sofia 85 kg
Wrestling World Cup
Gold medal – first place 1998 Stillwater 85 kg
Gold medal – first place 2000 Fairfax 85 kg
Gold medal – first place 2005 Tashkent 84 kg
Silver medal – second place 1999 Spokane 85 kg
Silver medal – second place 2004 Baku 84 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1997 Stillwater 85 kg
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 2003 Santo Domingo 84 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1999 Winnipeg 85 kg
Pan American Championships
Gold medal – first place 1998 Winnipeg 85 kg
Gold medal – first place 2001 Santo Domingo 85 kg
Gold medal – first place 2002 Maracaibo 84 kg
Gold medal – first place 2004 Guatemala City 96 kg
Gold medal – first place 2007 San Salvador 84 kg

Yoel Romero Palacio (born April 30, 1977) is a Cuban professional mixed martial artist and former freestyle wrestler.[3] He currently competes in the Light Heavyweight division for Bellator MMA.[4] Romero formerly competed in the Middleweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and he was a four-time challenger for the UFC Middleweight Championship.[5] As a freestyle wrestler, Romero competed at 85 kilograms, and he was the '99 World Champion (five-time medalist at the World Championships), the '00 Olympic Silver medalist, a three-time World Cup winner (six-time medalist), the '03 Pan American Games Gold medalist (bronze medalist in '99) and a five-time Pan American Champion.[6][7]

As of February 7, 2023, he is #3 in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Rankings.[8]

Wrestling career[edit]

Romero started training in wrestling in the 1990s,[9] and eventually representing Cuba at 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 champion by defeating the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Khadzhimurad Magomedov of Russia.[10] He missed out on becoming world champion again in 2002. After landing a three-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 that saw Romero end on top, it was judged Saitiev had scored in the interim.[11]

Romero competed in 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.[12][7] He finished in fourth place in 2004. While competing in freestyle wrestling, Romero has defeated three Olympic gold medal winners, and five different world champions.[13] Among them were Americans Cael Sanderson and Les Gutches, both of whom Romero has multiple victories over.[13]

Romero medaled in five world championships, only missing out with his fifth-place finish in 1997, and a sixth-place finish in 2003, when he was battling injuries. 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 medal-winning finishes at the FILA Wrestling World Cup. Romero competed infrequently after 2005: he was suspended for all of 2006 by the Cuban Wrestling Federation for allegedly throwing his match against Mindorashvili at the 2005 World Championships. After winning the Grand Prix of Germany in the summer of 2007, he did not return to Cuba, choosing instead to remain in Germany.[14]

Romero then joined the Ringer-Bundesliga, a professional wrestling league in Germany, in which teams compete for team titles. Romero competed as a starting member of SV Johannis Nuremberg, as well as helping coach and train the team. Eventually he began to transition into MMA.[14]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After defecting to Germany in 2007,[15] Romero made his professional mixed martial arts debut in December 2009. From 2008 to 2011, Romero was trained by Sergej Kuftin (combat sambo & MMA coach) and Zike Simic (kickboxing coach), both of whom were from Peter Althof's "Martial Arts Gym Nürnberg". Over the three years, Romero amassed a record of 5–0 in various promotions in Germany and Poland.[citation needed]

Romero won his debut via TKO against Sascha Weinpolter. In his second bout, he scored a 62-second finish via TKO against Ricky Pulu. He then took on Polish standout Michał Fijałka in his third bout.[16] Romero 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.[17] In 2011, he won his next three fights via TKO in the first round.[citation needed]


Romero signed with Strikeforce in July 2011 and made his promotional debut against Rafael Cavalcante on September 10, 2011 at Strikeforce 36.[18] He lost the fight via KO in the second round. A neck injury kept him out of action until 2013.[19]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]


After Strikeforce was purchased and absorbed by the UFC, Romero made his promotional and middleweight debut against Clifford Starks on April 20, 2013, at UFC on Fox 7.[20] He won the fight via flying knee knockout in the first round. This win earned him Knockout of the Night honors.[21][22][23]

Romero was expected to face Derek Brunson on August 31, 2013, at UFC 164.[24] 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 canceled.[25] In his second UFC bout, Romero faced Ronny Markes on November 6, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 31.[26] He won the fight via knockout in the third round.[27][28]


For his third fight, Romero was again set to face Derek Brunson on January 15, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 35.[29] After trailing for two rounds, Romero won the fight in the third via TKO due to punches and elbows to Brunson's body. Both fighters earned a $50,000 a Fight of the Night bonus award.[30]

In his fourth fight, Romero faced Brad Tavares at UFC on Fox 11.[31] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Romero faced Tim Kennedy on September 27, 2014, at UFC 178.[32] He won the fight via TKO in the third round, giving Kennedy his first stoppage loss in thirteen years. This fight generated much controversy: Romero was hurt badly at the end of round 2, and received extra time to recover between rounds. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan mistakenly blamed this on Romero's cornermen for failing to leave the Octagon on time, when the blame was actually on a UFC Cutman who applied too much Vaseline to a cut and referee John McCarthy for allowing Romero to stay sitting while trying to get the cutman to return to the octagon to wipe the excess off.[33] Later it was also noticed that Kennedy was illegally holding Romero's glove while striking him at end of round 2.[34]

The win earned Romero his second Fight of the Night bonus award.[35]


Romero was expected to face Ronaldo Souza on February 28, 2015, at UFC 184.[36] However, Souza pulled out of the fight on January 15, 2015, due to pneumonia. The bout was rescheduled [37] for April 18, 2015, at UFC on Fox 15. However, Romero was forced out of the fight by a ligament and meniscus tear in his knee. He was replaced by Chris Camozzi.[38]

Romero faced former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida on June 27, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 70.[39] This was the first UFC event, headlining Romero in the main event. He knocked out Machida at 1:38 of the third round with a series of elbows from top position.[40] Romero was awarded a "Performance of the Night" bonus.[41]

The bout with Ronaldo Souza was scheduled for a third time, eventually taking place on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194.[42] Romero won the fight via split decision.[43] 2 of 17 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Romero.[44]


Romero faced former middleweight champion Chris Weidman on November 12, 2016, at UFC 205.[45] He won the fight via knockout in the third round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[46][47] It was announced that Romero was next-in-line for a title shot, after owning an 8-match winning streak.


With middleweight champion Michael Bisping sidelined due to injury, Romero fought Robert Whittaker on July 8, 2017 at UFC 213 for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship.[48] Romero lost the fight by unanimous decision.[49]


Romero was scheduled to face David Branch on February 24, 2018 at UFC on Fox 28.[50] However, on January 13, 2018, it was reported that Whittaker had pulled out of his bout against Luke Rockhold, which was scheduled to take place at UFC 221, due to an undisclosed injury. It was announced he would be replaced by Romero in what was to be a fight for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship. The winner of this bout would then face Whittaker in a unification bout.[51] At the weigh-ins, Romero came in at 188.3 lbs in his first attempt. He was given another two hours to make 185 lbs but failed to make weight, ending up 2.7 pounds over the middleweight limit of 185 lbs. As a result, Romero would not have been eligible for the interim championship had he won the fight. Romero was fined 30% of his purse, which was awarded to Rockhold. If Rockhold were to win, he would still be awarded the championship. Romero won the fight via KO in the third round. Romero knocked Rockhold down with a heavy overhand followed up with a punch on the ground that rendered Rockhold unconscious.[52]

A rematch with Whittaker took place on June 9, 2018 at UFC 225.[53] At the weight-ins, Romero missed weight, coming in at 186 pounds, 1 pound over the middleweight limit for a title fight. Romero was given additional time to make weight but was pulled by the commission, weighing in at 185.2 lbs, 0.2 pounds over. Romero was fined 20% of his fight purse and the fight proceeded as a non-title catchweight bout.[54][55] Romero lost the back-and-forth fight by a close split decision. The fight was awarded as Fight of the Night, but due to Romero missing weight, Whittaker received both $50,000 bonuses for a total of $100,000.[56]


Romero was scheduled to face Paulo Costa on November 3, 2018 at UFC 230.[57] However, Romero indicated in mid-August that while he has been cleared to fight, his doctors have recommended that he wait another four to five months (early 2019) to allow facial injuries incurred during his most recent fight to fully heal.[58]

Romero was scheduled to face Ronaldo Souza on April 27, 2019 at UFC Fight Night 150.[59] However, it was reported that Romero pulled out of the bout in early in April 2019 due to illness and was replaced by Jack Hermansson.[60]

Romero faced Paulo Costa on August 17, 2019 at UFC 241.[61] After trailing for the first two rounds, he dominated the third round in one of the greatest 3-round fights in the history of the UFC. As he fell back in the numbers, he lost the fight via unanimous decision.[62] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[63]


Romero next faced Israel Adesanya on March 7, 2020 UFC 248 for the UFC middleweight title.[64] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[65] Many fans and pundits felt disappointed due to the low activity by both fighters, which resulted in a largely uneventful fight in which neither fighter was able to deliver any significant offense.[66]

Romero was scheduled to face Uriah Hall on August 22, 2020 at UFC on ESPN 15.[67] However, Romero pulled out of the fight on August 11 for undisclosed reasons.[68] The bout was subsequently cancelled.[69]

On December 4, Romero announced his departure from the UFC and became a free agent.[70]

Bellator MMA[edit]

On December 14, 2020, it was announced that Romero had agreed to a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA and is expected to compete in its light heavyweight division beginning in 2021.[71]

On February 9, 2021, it was announced that Romero would be participating in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament. He was scheduled to face Anthony Johnson in the quarterfinal round at Bellator 257 on April 16.[72] On March 26, it was announced that the bout would be moved to Bellator 258 on May 7.[73] On April 29, it was announced that Yoel had failed his medicals due to an eye issue and the bout was pulled from the card, and the Grand Prix Tournament, being replaced by Jose Augusto.[74]

Romero made his Bellator debut on September 18, 2021 at Bellator 266 against Phil Davis.[75] He lost the bout via split decision.[76]

Romero was scheduled to fight Melvin Manhoef on May 6, 2022 at Bellator 280.[77] However, Manhoef withdrew from the bout due to a hand injury while stopping burglars and was replaced by Alex Polizzi.[78] Yoel won the bout via TKO in the final seconds of the third round.[79]

The bout against Melvin Manhoef was rescheduled this time for September 23, 2022 at Bellator 285.[80] He won the bout via knockout on the ground via elbows in the third round.[81]

Romero was scheduled to face Vadim Nemkov for the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship on February 4, 2023 at Bellator 290.[82] However, Nemkov forced to withdraw due to undisclosed reason and the bout was scrapped.[83]


Romero trains in Coconut Creek, Florida with the American Top Team, with fellow-UFC fighters including Robbie Lawler, Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva and Glover Teixeira.

Fighting style[edit]

Romero is left-handed and primarily fights out of the southpaw stance, although he sometimes switches to an orthodox stance during fights. In spite of his amateur wrestling pedigree, Romero rarely uses his wrestling offensively inside the Octagon.[84][85] Instead, Romero's boxing is typically considered his best skill, with the majority of his victories coming by way of knockout or technical knockout via punches.[86] Many pundits cite Romero's pull-back left-handed counter as his most dangerous strike.[86][87]

Tainted supplements lawsuit[edit]

Romero was informed of a potential doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test conducted by USADA on January 13, 2016[88] after his bout with Ronaldo Souza on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194,[42] which Romero won via split decision.[43] On February 8, Romero and his manager explained that he had taken a supplement after his fight that turned out to be contaminated. His team and USADA both sent out the supplement for testing and it was confirmed that it contained a banned substance. That substance was not listed on the label, his manager said. They did not want to reveal the name of the supplement or the substance as USADA was investigating the issue.[89] On March 23, it was announced that Romero would appeal his suspension. His team and USADA discussed a deal for a nine-month suspension for the fighter, but Romero preferred to go to arbitration. The typical USADA anti-doping violation suspension is two years.[90] Eventually, on April 4, both parties reached an agreement for a six-month suspension. USADA revealed that Romero had tested positive for ibutamoren, a growth hormone release stimulator. An unopened version of the supplement was independently tested and the banned substance did indeed come up, even though it was not listed on the label. The result of the Souza fight was not overturned, as it was an out-of-competition test that occurred after the fight; Romero passed both his pre-fight and fight night tests for the Souza fight.[91][92]

Romero pursued legal action against the supplement company, but they never interposed an answer. After being awarded default judgment, Romero was awarded $27 million in damages: $3 million for lost wages, $3 million for reputable harm, and $3 million for emotional damage, all of which were tripled as allowed by the New Jersey “Consumer Fraud Act” when a company is “found out to have committed consumer fraud”.[93] However, in mid-2021 it was reported that New Jersey Superior Court reduced the damage awards for lost wages and emotional stress to total of $12.45 million.[94] The reputational damages will be decided in another trial meeting.[94]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
21 matches 15 wins 6 losses
By knockout 13 1
By decision 2 5
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 15–6 Melvin Manhoef KO (elbows) Bellator 285 September 23, 2022 3 3:34 Dublin, Ireland
Win 14–6 Alex Polizzi TKO (punches) Bellator 280 May 6, 2022 3 4:59 Paris, France
Loss 13–6 Phil Davis Decision (split) Bellator 266 September 18, 2021 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Return to Light Heavyweight.
Loss 13–5 Israel Adesanya Decision (unanimous) UFC 248 March 7, 2020 5 5:00 Las Vegas, United States For the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Loss 13–4 Paulo Costa Decision (unanimous) UFC 241 August 17, 2019 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 13–3 Robert Whittaker Decision (split) UFC 225 June 9, 2018 5 5:00 Chicago, United States Originally for the UFC Middleweight Championship; changed to a non-title bout when Romero missed weight (185.2 lbs). Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2018).
Win 13–2 Luke Rockhold KO (punches) UFC 221 February 11, 2018 3 1:48 Perth, Australia For the interim UFC Middleweight Championship; Romero missed weight (187.7 lbs) and was ineligible for the title.
Loss 12–2 Robert Whittaker Decision (unanimous) UFC 213 July 8, 2017 5 5:00 Las Vegas, United States For the interim UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 12–1 Chris Weidman KO (flying knee) UFC 205 November 12, 2016 3 0:24 New York City, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 11–1 Ronaldo Souza Decision (split) UFC 194 December 12, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, United States
Win 10–1 Lyoto Machida KO (elbows) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero June 27, 2015 3 1:38 Hollywood, Florida, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 9–1 Tim Kennedy TKO (punches) UFC 178 September 27, 2014 3 0:58 Las Vegas, 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 and 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 and 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) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov September 10, 2011 2 4:51 Cincinnati, 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 Ņikita 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 Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland
Win 1–0 Sascha Weinpolter TKO (punches) Fight of the Night 2009 December 20, 2009 1 0:48 Nuremberg, Germany Light Heavyweight debut.


Pay-per-view bouts[edit]

No. Event Fight Date Venue City PPV buys
1. UFC 213 Romero vs. Whittaker July 8, 2017 T-Mobile Arena Paradise, Nevada, United States 150,000[98]
2. UFC 221 Romero vs. Rockhold February 11, 2018 Perth Arena Perth, Australia 130,000[99]
3. UFC 225 Whittaker vs. Romero 2 June 9, 2018 United Center Chicago, Illinois, United States 250,000[100]
4. UFC 248 Adesanya vs. Romero March 7, 2020 T-Mobile Arena Paradise, Nevada, United States Not Disclosed[101]

Freestyle record[edit]

World Championships & Olympic Games Matches
Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event Location
2005 World Championships 2nd place, silver medalist(s) at 84kg
Loss 33–11 Georgia (country) Revaz Mindorashvili 0–1, 1–1, 0–5 September 26 - October 2, 2005 2005 World Wrestling Championships Hungary Budapest, Hungary
Win 33–10 Ukraine Taras Danko 3–1, 1–0
Win 32–10 Belarus Soslan Gattsiev 1–0, 2–0
Win 31–10 Poland Radosław Horbik 1–0, 2–0
Win 30–10 Malta Abraham Vasallo 4–0, 3–0
2004 Olympics 4th at 84kg
Loss 29–10 Russia Sazhid Sazhidov 3–5 August 27–28, 2004 2004 Summer Olympics Greece Athens, Greece
Loss 29–9 United States Cael Sanderson 2–3
Win 29–8 Greece Lazaros Loizidis 3–1
Win 28–8 Germany Davyd Bichinashvili 3–0
Win 27–8 Guam Jeffrey Cobb Tech. Fall
2003 World Championships 6th at 84kg
Loss 26–8 Russia Sazhid Sazhidov 0–3 September 12–14, 2003 2003 World Wrestling Championships United States New York, New York
Loss 26–7 North Macedonia Mogamed Ibragimov 0–3
Win 26–6 Switzerland Thomas Bucheli 9–0
Win 25–6 Poland Marcin Jurecki 6–5
2002 World Championships 2nd place, silver medalist(s) at 84kg
Loss 24–6 Russia Adam Saitiev 3–4 September 5–6, 2002 2002 World Wrestling Championships Iran Tehran, Iran
Win 24–5 Iran Majid Khodaei 3–0
Win 23–5 Georgia (country) Revaz Mindorashvili 3–2
Win 22–5 Japan Katsutoshi Senba Fall
Win 21–5 Hungary Gabor Kapuvari 4–0
2001 World Championships 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) at 85kg
Win 20–5 Belarus Beibulat Musaev 3–0 November 23–25, 2001 2001 World Wrestling Championships Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria
Loss 19–5 Russia Khadzhimurad Magomedov 1–3
Win 19–4 Germany Andre Backhaus 5–0
Win 18–4 Poland Marcin Jurecki 4–1
Win 17–4 Armenia Mahmed Aghaev 5–0
2000 Olympics 2nd place, silver medalist(s) at 85kg
Loss 16–4 Russia Adam Saitiev Fall September 29 - October 1, 2000 2000 Summer Olympics Australia Sydney, Australia
Win 16–3 Iran Amir Reza Khadem 3–0
Win 15–3 Canada Justin Abdou 8–0
Win 14–3 Latvia Igors Samušonoks 3–0
Win 13–3 Kazakhstan Magomed Kurugliyev 4–0
1999 World Championships 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 85kg
Win 12–3 Russia Khadzhimurad Magomedov 4–2 October 8–10, 1999 1999 World Wrestling Championships Turkey Ankara, Turkey
Win 11–3 Turkey Ali Oezen 3–2
Win 10–3 Kazakhstan Magomed Kurugliyev 3–0
Win 9–3 Azerbaijan Vitali Gizoev 7–0
Win 8–3 Germany Andre Backhaus 8–4
Win 7–3 Iran Abbas Majidi 4–0
1998 World Championships 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) at 85kg
Win 6–3 Russia Khadzhimurad Magomedov 3–2 September 9–11, 1998 1998 World Wrestling Championships Iran Tehran, Iran
Win 5–3 Poland Michal Stanislawski 5–1
Loss 4–3 Iran Alireza Heidari 1–2
Win 4–2 Hungary Gabor Kapuvari 5–0
Win 3–2 Bulgaria Plamen Paskalev 5–0
1997 World Championships 5th at 85kg
Loss 2–2 Uzbekistan Soslan Fraev 1–3 August 29–31, 1997 1997 World Wrestling Championships Russia Krasnojarsk, Russia
Loss 2–1 Ukraine Eldar Assanov 1–3
Win 2–0 Latvia Igors Samušonoks 3–1
Win 1–0 North Macedonia Gari Modosyan 4–0

Submission grappling record[edit]

1 Matches, 1 Wins, 0 Losses, 0 Draws
Result Rec. Opponent Method Event Date Division Location
Win 1-0 United States Chris Barnett Submission (Kimura) Dean Toole Promotions June 15, 2019 Openweight United States Pensacola, Florida


Personal life[edit]

Romero describes himself as a Christian and "a man of God" whose hero is Jesus Christ.[103] His younger brother, Yoan Pablo Hernández, was the IBF Cruiserweight Champion in professional boxing.[104]

Romero and his wife have one daughter, he also has 2 daughters and a son in Cuba.[105]

In a controversial post-fight interview after his victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 70, it was assumed by many that Romero was expressing disagreement with the Obergefell v. Hodges supreme court ruling. However, during the post fight press conference and subsequent interviews the following day, Romero denied referring to gay marriage and apologized for his comments while maintaining that they were misunderstood. Many thought Romero said "No for gay Jesus" while he actually said "No forget Jesus" as he is not fluent in English.[106]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ESPN Profile: Yoel Romero".
  2. ^ "Yoel Romero - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Yoel Romero ("Soldier of God") | MMA Fighter Page". Tapology. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  4. ^ "Sources: Healthy Romero to make Bellator debut". ESPN. 2021-08-13. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  5. ^ Taylor, Tom. "Yoel Romero Opens Up on Leaving UFC and New Lease on Life in Bellator". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  6. ^ Gallo, Ed (2019-08-16). "Wrestling for MMA: Yoel Romero". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  7. ^ a b "Yoel ROMERO". Olympics.com. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  8. ^ "Bellator Rankings". www.bellator.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ McCarter, Nathan. "Yoel Romero: A Timeline of the UFC's Greatest Athlete to Never Win Gold". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
  10. ^ "Neal wins gold medal; McIlravy wins silver medal; Gutches wins bronze medal at World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 10; The United States places second behind Russia in team standings". 1999-11-28. Archived from the original on 1999-11-28. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  11. ^ "RESULTS OF THE JUNIOR GR-FS ASIAN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS". Archived from the original on 5 October 2002. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  12. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Yoel Romero". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-04-18. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  13. ^ a b "UFC Fight Night 35 Factgrinder: The Wrestling Career of Yoel Romero". bloodyelbow.com. January 15, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Singh, Abhilasha (1 May 2022). "The Scariest Fighter Alive: Magnificent Journey of Yoel Romero to UFC". essentiallysports.com. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  15. ^ "Die Wochen der Wahrheit – Doppelkampftag steht an" (in German). www.ringen.de. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  16. ^ "Yoel Romero Palacio vs. Michał Fijałka". groundandpound.de. October 5, 2010. (in German)
  17. ^ "IFF "Michał Fijałka vs Yoel Romero" – przeżyjmy to jeszcze raz". mmanews.pl. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  18. ^ "Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Yoel Romero slotted for September 10 Strikeforce event". mmajunkie.com. 2011-07-21.
  19. ^ Burke, Tim (12 September 2011). "Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante Broke His Arm in Strikeforce Win Over Yoel Romero". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  20. ^ "Yoel Romero vs Clifford Starks set for UFC on FOX 7". bloodyelbow.com. January 23, 2013.
  21. ^ "UFC on FOX 7 bonuses: Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson earn $50,000". MMAjunkie.com. 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  23. ^ "Starks VS Romero". ESPN.
  24. ^ "UFC 164 Gains Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero". mmaweekly.com. 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  25. ^ "UFC 164 loses Yoel Romero vs. Brian Houston, card finalized with 12 bouts". mmajunkie.com. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  26. ^ Penick, Jamie (2013-08-23). "UFC Fight for the Troops card adds Yoel Romero vs. Ronny Markes". mmatorch.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  27. ^ "UFC Fight Night 35: What We Learned from Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero". Bleacher Report.
  28. ^ "Romero VS Brunson". UFC.
  29. ^ "UFC Fight Night 35 adds Yoel Romero vs. Derek Brunson". mmajunkie.com. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  30. ^ ""UFC Fight Night 35 Bonuses: Rockhold, Miller, Romero, Brunson Earn $50K Awards", by Mike Whitman, Sherdog.com". Sherdog.
  31. ^ "#UFCFightNight in Orlando bout update! @bambamhealy vs @GamebredFighter and @BradTavares vs @YoelRomeroMMA. Tix on sale next Friday". UFC News. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
  32. ^ Simon, Zane (2014-07-08). "Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 178 in Las Vegas". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  33. ^ Cruz, Guilherme (30 September 2014). "Coach: Yoel Romero wasn't out between rounds at UFC 178, believes top 5 opponent should be next". mmafighting.netblogpro.com. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  34. ^ "Romero: Kennedy cheated before 'Stoolgate' mess". SB Nation (MMAfighting.com). 20 December 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
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External links[edit]

Media related to Yoel Romero at Wikimedia Commons