In "news we expected to have confirmed sooner or later," Dana White has officially announced Yoel Romero as Michael Bisping's next challenger for his middleweight title. This was expected, as Romero has veritably cleaned out the division, specifically defeating top ten opponents Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza and former champ Chris Weidman (in particularly violent fashion).
Speaking on the latest UFC Unfiltered podcast, Dana White laid out his plans for the middleweight title:
“Yoel Romero’s been floating out there a long time waiting for a title shot. Bisping wanted to do that grudge match with Dan Henderson. It was going to be Dan Henderson’s last fight. I’ve always shown Henderson the respect I felt he deserved. He’s a guy who’s fought everybody out there. So we did that fight and he’s got to defend his title now against the No. 1 contender."
Bisping has his hands full. This guy is a monster of a man.
Romero, the Olympic wrestling silver-medalist, has finished all but two of his opponents (Brad Tavares and Jacare). Most recently, the 39-year-old Cuban has looked as explosive as ever. Meanwhile, Bisping has walked out of his 5-round war with Dan Henderson with a brutalized face, but revenge acquired on his official record. Bisping is currently recovering from surgery on his knee, which should put him out for a few months. Probably until early summer.
The Twitter beef between these two is long and storied, with Romero's USADA drug test violation hanging heavy over the fight.
Romero was given a lighter suspension due to the fact that a supplement he took was tainted, but that doesn't mean the "eyeball test" hasn't been at least somewhat damning to him.
So as DJ Michael Bisping recovers from knee surgery and studies Yoel Romero's every move, at least we'll have xXx to keep us in his company. Oh, and our own Bas Rutten has some ideas on how Bisping can beat Romero. Read up, Mike!