LAS VEGAS – According to UFC president Dana White, Yoel Romero’s recent UFC release is one of many that will come by the end of 2020.
A multi-time UFC middleweight title challenger, Romero (13-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) was released from the promotion Friday after over seven years with the company. Romero last competed in a title fight against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the UFC 248 main event in March.
At the UFC on ESPN 19 post-fight news conference, however, White revealed Romero’s release was not an isolated case. The UFC roster is “inflated,” according to White – so more names will follow as 2020 winds down.
“It’s not just Yoel,” White told MMA Junkie, at UFC on ESPN 19 post-fight news conference. “We’re going to go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year. We’re probably going to have 60 cuts before the first of the year. Yoel has lost four of his last five. He’s 44 years old. Our roster is very inflated right now. We’re going to have some big cuts coming before the end of the year. You’re going to see a lot of names going here in the next several weeks. … These are the tough decisions you have to make.”
Romero, who is No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA middleweight rankings, has since lost decisions to Paulo Costa and Adesanya, giving him a 1-4 record leading up to his release.
Although he didn’t capture a title, Romero still left his mark in the UFC. He has the third-most knockouts in middleweight history (seven), the third-most knockdowns (10), is one of two fighters in UFC history with multiple flying knee finishes, along with other accolades.
Prior to Romero’s release, MMA Junkie confirmed four other fighters – Justin Ledet, Bevon Lewis, Cole Smith, and Collin Huckbody – recently parted ways with the UFC as well.
UFC on ESPN 19 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streamed on ESPN+.