Mike Brown: Yoel Romero Will Definitely Get Back To Title Contention
After Yoel Romero’s defeat to Israel Adesanya at UFC 248, the general consensus was that it is incredibly unlikely that the 43 year old would get another shot at the UFC middleweight title.
However, Romero’s coach Mike Brown doesn’t believe this to be the case and considers the fighter ‘the greatest athlete’ he has ever seen. And despite the fact that the Olympic silver medalist has lost his last three fights inside the Octagon, the American Top Team coach told MMA Junkie that he still believes ‘The Soldier of God’ can climb up to the top of the middleweight division again.
“He’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen, [even] at this age,” Brown said. “What he can do with his body is incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it: speed, reaction time, agility. I mean, he’s in his 40s and his reaction time is incredible, the speed is incredible, his coordination is incredible.
“The more I see guys like him, the more I realize what a terrible athlete I am. I can’t imagine what he was like when he was 30 or 25. It must have been unbelievable. I know he’s a world champion in wrestling and this is so difficult, wrestling is so deep and so many people are competing for the same title, it’s very competitive. He got a very late start in MMA and he’s done some amazing things.
“You have to worry about time catches up to everybody, but right now – how he looks in the gym and what he can do – I mean, I definitely see him getting back to the title.”
Romero has been expressed his wish to continue his fighting career for another decade. And although Brown isn’t sure if he can continue fighting for that long, he feels that Yoel can beat any middleweight in the world today. Including Adesanya, who he believes beat at UFC 248.
“I don’t know about that, but I mean I can’t believe he looks like he does right now,” Brown said. “You don’t know when things are going to change, but right now, he can beat anybody in the world. On any night he’s as good as anybody. He was right there that night. That night, when it came down to the scorecards – even though it was a boring fight, people didn’t like it – but in my head, I thought he had done enough in those rounds to win.
“Watching it live, the leg kicks didn’t feel like enough. To me, it felt like Adesanya was on the run more or maybe in danger of getting finished more. I mean you can’t always see the angles if the punches are landing or not, but Yoel would attack and Adesanya was stumbling around, maybe the punches were missing, but it’s hard to tell sometimes. But from the outside, I thought he had won. But again I knew they were close again, so I didn’t know how the judges had scored it, but if I were scoring it I’d say he had won three of those rounds, but again, I knew they were close enough to argue either way.”
Over the years, a consensus has developed that states the challenger needs to soundly beat the champion, to win the title. Brown strongly disagrees with this train of thought.
“I feel like people think that when you’re the challenger you have to do this, you have to do that, but you’re just in a fight,” Brown explained. “You’re reacting to moment-to-moment action as it comes to you.
“You’re not thinking, ‘I’m the challenger, I need to get him,’ you’re just solving the puzzle that’s in front of you, I’ve never liked that mentality. You have to score the round. You can’t say, ‘You have to beat the champion convincingly,’ no, you have to beat him, that’s it – especially these world-class athletes. It’s not easy to finish these guys, to hurt these guys.”
Do you think Yoel Romero can make his way up to the title contention again?