UFC middleweight title contender Yoel Romero joined Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour today where he talked about his most recent victory over a guy he calls a “former friend”, Luke Rockhold. The conversation turned to their rivalry and Yoel explained exactly why he coddled Luke after the fight was over. Check it out.
“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 host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “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. 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.’”
“When I had the problem with USADA, he and Michael Bisping were the two guys, the first two guys, who were talking a lot of (trash) about me,” Romero said. “Okay, Bisping is Bisping. I don’t have a relationship, nothing (like a) relationship with this guy. But with [Rockhold]? Man, you talked like this about me? I said, okay.
“Because maybe he’s thinking, ‘Okay, this guy, 39 years old, the minimum (suspension) is two years out. (He’ll be) 41. Right? Bye bye, Yoel. But God is good every time, and I’m still here. And now, that’s why when the UFC called me, I said yes about the fight.” “That’s why I said at the (UFC 221) weigh-in, when he said, ‘I am a professional,’ I said, ‘I am a professional too. I’m still here for you. I’m coming for you. Not for the belt. I stayed here for you, because this is a big opportunity — I can fight you. Everything is because you talked so bad about me. You need to pay. You need to pay.’ That’s it.”
“In this moment, I said, ‘Hey, Luke. I love you,’” Romero explained. “‘I love you. 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.”