Spare a thought for Yoel Romero. The Cuban Olympic wrestler was considered by many to be the de facto number one contender to Michael Bisping’s middleweight crown when he overcame Chris Weidman with a torpedo-like flying knee knockout at UFC 205 in New York last November.
This sport moves fast, though. Georges St-Pierre, the former welterweight champion and one of the most famous names in the fame, announced his return to the sport following a three year hiatus and decided to test himself at 185-pounds — a division north from where he fought for the majority of is career. In a game of dollars and cents, Romero’s status as the presumed challenger to Bisping eroded to make the Bisping vs. GSP match which is presumed by most to be more of a “money fight” than a title challenge involving the Cuban.
The door remains slightly ajar for Romero, however. While the Bisping vs. St-Pierre fight has been agreed by all parties, the date for it has not yet been announced. Speaking on his podcast Believe You Me as reported by MMAFighting, Bisping said that if a date isn’t announced soon then he would be willing to give the Cuban his shot at the gold instead.
“July 8, Las Vegas, International Fight Week is the date and the event that we are targeting,” Bisping said. “But Dana wouldn’t confirm the date at the press conference. But then I saw Dana a couple of weeks later when I was working at FOX and Dana said, ‘Yeah we’re still hoping for July 8.’
“Long story short, it looks like GSP is trying to push for a later date. I heard rumors of that a while ago from Ariel Helwani. I heard that they wanted September/October and that’s what the UFC told me as well. But I’m just throwing it out there right now, if he wants to wait until September or October, then he can go find himself another opponent, buddy. Because I call the shots. Without sounding like an a**hole, it’s my belt. I’m the champion and I’m not willing to sit around until September or October.
“This fight was discussed in January. A fight camp only takes eight weeks or six weeks. Fighting in September or October is ridiculous. July 8 is the date. I will be a little bit flexible and maybe go past that a little bit but I want to fight at International Fight Week, July 8. So Georges St-Pierre, get it together. Stop doing your fucking gymnastics, stop doing your backflips and whatever it is and let’s do this, buddy. Come on, sign the paperwork. You want it. You sat there at the press conference. You talked big. You sounded confident so sign the God damn paperwork. It’s as simple as that.
“If he’s not ready then I guess Yoel Romero gets his title shot. Listen, I’m not afraid of Yoel Romero. If GSP wants to fight, of course, there’s a great story there. . . But, I’m not willing to sit around and he doesn’t get to call the shots. It’s my belt and I’m not some little a**hole waiting in the wings for my title shot. I’ve got the belt and I want to fight. I’m in my prime. I don’t want to sit around for a year. If we don’t fight until September or October, that would be a year and I’m not willing to wait a year for Georges St-Pierre.
“He doesn’t get to call the shots. And I’m not being a baby about it, if he needs a little extra time, we’ll do that. But you can’t keep me waiting around indefinitely.”