UFC matchmakers will once again have to do some quick thinking to salvage a main event after it was reported by Brazilian outlet AGFight that Cuban Olympic wrestler and top-ranked UFC middleweight Yoel Romero has been forced to withdraw from his April 27 rematch with Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
The report states that Romero has come down with a bout of pneumonia in recent weeks which has left him unable to compete in the fight which was scheduled for just over three weeks’ time. It is not yet known if the UFC will attempt to find a replacement for Romero, or seek to rebook the match at a later date.
— Sub-Zero MMA (@SubZeroMMA) April 4, 2019
The fight had implications at the summit of the UFC middleweight division. Souza had intimated in recent days that, if he was to win and not be awarded a title shot, he would seriously consider retirement. Romero has long been one of the middleweight division’s top contenders but was defeated in two recent outings against current titleholder Robert Whittaker.
Romero was the winner of the pair’s first meeting at UFC 194 in December 2015 after being awarded a split decision after three rounds of action.
UFC Fort Lauderdale is set to be co-main evented by Greg Hardy’s second UFC fight where he takes on Dmitry Smolyakov.