Yoel Romero Has Quit UFC With Three Fights Left On His Deal
The Cuban's last appearance in a UFC octagon came on March 7 in a losing effort against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
He was expected to fulfil three more fights on his deal, but manager Malki Kawa told ESPN his seven year stint with the promotion has come to an end.
"While we didn't expect Romero's time in the UFC to end like this, we are grateful for the opportunities [UFC president] Dana White, [general counsel] Hunter Campbell and [matchmaker] Mick Maynard gave him over the years.
"He's ready to move on now and resume his career. We are already talking to other promotions as we speak."
The 'Solider of God' won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the Summer Olympics in 2000 before turning his attentions to MMA.
A stint in Strikeforce saw him join UFC in 2013 and he won his first eight fights in a row.
But he'd lost his last three and received criticism for underwhelming fans in his showing against Adesanya.
The 43-year-old is known for his intense moniker inside and outside the octagon with a passionate speech prior to the Adesanya fight summing him up perfectly.
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"Muhammad [Ali] had the best defense in the heavyweight [division]. The best moves, in the heavyweight [division]. But... shorter man, dirty boxing... He beat him one time," he explained without cracking a smile
"Everything is possible in your life when you believe! When you believe, everything is possible. You have two hands like me. Everything is possible. Go. Go and take it. Whatever you want to do."
Romero failed the test in 2015 following his win at UFC 194 against Ronaldo Souza and was banned by USADA in 2016.
However in April of that year USADA ruled tainted dietary supplements from Gold Star Performance Products were to blame and overturned the decision.
"I'm very happy," Romero told ESPN after the incident.
"It's not about the money. I'm very happy now that everything is clean and more clear. You cannot live very well when you hear and you see when you post something [on social media] people reply 'Soldier of Steroids.' You cannot sleep very well. ... It's very emotional and important, too, because I know I've never taken anything in my life."
Featured Image Credit: Yoel Romero/Instagram & ESPN
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