In the history of the UFC, we've yet to see a Hispanic UFC champion, or even a #Hispanic title challenger.
Sure, guys like Henry Cejudo and Ricardo Lamas have challenged for titles, and even Cain Velasquez held the UFC heavyweight title for some time, but all those guys are Americans with Hispanic roots. There's yet to be a native Hispanic fighter that could challenge for gold. The man closest to accomplishing that goal, and even possibly win a title, is UFC middleweight #YoelRomero.
Romero, who was born in Cuba in 1977 and defected to Germany in 2007, eventually made his way to the United States, and is currently scheduled to fight #ChrisWeidman on the main card of the historic UFC 205 event set to take place in New York City on November 12.
Weidman has clean boxing and solid wrestling skills, being an All-American #NCAA division one wrestler. Although Romero is an #Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling and has the best wrestling resume in the UFC, he's had some trouble transitioning his insane skills to an MMA skillset. This can give him trouble, as Weidman is capable of stopping his takedowns, turning the fight into a boxing match where he likely have an advantage.
Despite Weidman being a tough match-up for him, Romero has shown crazy knockout power that can stop anyone at anytime, and has also shown tons of heart, digging deep into the fight, and turning the tide around to come out on top.
If the Cuban fighter were to defeat Weidman at UFC 205, he would remain the only middleweight in the Top 15 rankings to be undefeated in the promotion. He would have wins over two former UFC champions and one #Strikeforce champion in his short stint in MMA. A win over Weidman would also extend his streak to eight in a row, where he has previous victories over elite fighters such as Lyoto Machida, Tim Kennedy, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Derek Brunson and Brad Tavares.
The "Soldier of God" is currently fourth in the UFC's 185lb division -- fourth in the division sounds a bit far from the title, but the UFC rankings don't truly represent how close Romero really is to the belt.
In his last fight at #UFC194, the 39-year-old Romero defeated Brazil's "#Jacare" Souza. This fight put Romero on a seven-fight win streak and kept him undefeated in the UFC. Meanwhile, Souza has only fought once since the Romero loss, defeating Vitor Belfort, which doesn't really mean as much today as it meant three years ago. Somehow, "Jacare" is ranked above Romero, sitting third in the middleweight rankings.
The fight between Romero and Souza was never officially labeled a title eliminator bout, but anyone that knows the sport knows that the winner of that fight was most deserving to challenge for gold. Unfortunately for Romero, #USADA suspended him after he tested positive for a banned substance. He was given a shortened, six-month suspension, as the banned substance came from a tainted supplement. We will never know for sure, but if Romero hadn't taken the tainted supplement, it's likely he would have fought for the title.
Besides Souza, the only two men above Romero in the rankings are former 185-pound champions Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman. Both guys are coming off loses, but it is what it is, as they say, and somehow they also find themselves above him.
Yoel Romero is already deserving of a title shot, and it'd be nonsense to not give the Cuban a crack at it if he defeats Chris Weidman.