Romero Discusses His Blacklist And Why Rockhold Was On It
Yoel Romero has something in common with former United States President, Richard M. Nixon. And no it wasn’t his love of football or owning a dog named Checkers, but having an enemies list.
Romero appeared on MMA Fighting’s flagship program, The MMA Hour on Monday and discussed with Ariel Helwani that up until UFC 221, Romero had his opponent Luke Rochold on a “blacklist,” due to Rockhold’s comments following Romero’s failing of a USADA drug test in 2016.
“You remember one day when you talked to me, I said I have only one list, a blacklist? He [was] on the blacklist,” Romero told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “He knows why. He knows why. Because he talked a lot of (trash). After USADA, when that happened, when I had this problem with USADA, he talked (trash). Before USADA, before, every time when he saw me, whether (in) Vegas or when the UFC made something like the (athlete) retreat, he’d say, ‘Hey, what’s up, my man? You want to go out with me? I need a party.’ I’d say, okay, come on, let’s go, no problem.”
“When I [was hanging out] with him, he was like a friend,” Romero continued. “He’d [put his arm around me] like this, ‘Yoel, what’s up?’ And every time, he asked me the big question. Every time, he asked me: ‘Hey Yoel, you want to fight with me?’ I’d say, ‘What?’ (He’d say,) ‘Yeah, so you want to fight?’ I’d say, ‘No, no, no. Wait, wait, wait, wait. That’s not the question. The question is, do you want to fight me?’ He’d say, ‘No, no, no. I don’t want to fight with you.’ So I’d say, ‘Okay, so you don’t want to fight me and I don’t want to fight you? That’s it.’”
Romero ended not only winning the fight with a third round knockout of Rockhold, but per Dana White will be the next man to challenge his original opponent, Robert Whittaker for his undisputed middleweight title.
The Cuban fighter also revealed what he was saying to Rockhold following the fight that drew ire from UFC fighter/FOX analyst, Michael Bisping.
“In this moment, I said, ‘Hey, Luke. I love you. I love you,” Romero said.
“You remember the time when you were staying with me, hanging out, and you said, ‘Do you want to fight me?’ I said, ‘You remember? And you see what happened after USADA? You remember? I’m still here. I love you.’”
“He didn’t [say] anything because he knows. He knows.”