TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/14: Yoel Romero suggests Interim Middleweight Title fight with Anderson Silva, Cain update (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Yoel Romero (photo credit Adam Hunger © USA Today Sports)

Continuing the train of UFC middleweights looking to fight Anderson Silva is Yoel Romero.

During an appearance on Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” Romero was critical of UFC’s decision to grant the next UFC Middleweight Title shot to Georges St. Pierre and proposed a fight between himself and Silva be made for an Interim Championship.

“I don’t think it would be a bad idea,” he said. “I think would be something good for the fans and myself to ask for an Interim Title fight with Anderson Silva.”

Romero was considered to be a lock to get the next shot at Bisping’s title after brutally knocking out Chris Weidman at UFC 205 last November. Before the GSP fight presented itself, Bisping went as far as to acknowledge that he’d be fighting Romero next, but the bout was never officially announced.

With the champ tied up and other top middleweight contenders either injured or already booked to fight, Romero sees the fight with Silva as the most logical based on the circumstances. “If you look the top-five rankings, everyone is busy and the only ones that are not booked are Anderson and I,” Romero said. “He already beat everyone, and if you look at the list he’s the only big star that’s in title contention and that I haven’t fought.”

Silva has recently proposed fights with Bisping and Nick Diaz, but the lure of an Interim Championship to lock in a future date with Bisping or GSP could be enough to get him to take a fight with Romero.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: If you take Luke Rockhold out of the equation, Anderson Silva is the top ranked available middleweight with any name value right now. That said, there are better fights for Romero from a rankings perspective. MMATorch.com has Romero and Rockhold at #2 and #3 respectively in our latest rankings, so that would be a good fight to make if Rockhold is ready to fight soon after being injured late last year.

I think Romero’s proposal has more to do with what we talked about here yesterday, and that is that Silva is seen by many fighters as a low-risk, high-reward fight as he has a big name but is beatable at this point in his career. His argument that Silva is the only available top-ranked middleweight is only partially true. Derek Brunson, who most people feel beat Silva last month, and Kelvin Gastelum would both be good fights for Romero, but they don’t bring any name value.

The idea of an Interim Middleweight Championship is preposterous, but if Bisping-GSP gets pushed back to late in the year, and UFC needs a title on the line for a big show, it could certainly happen, but I would never endorse it.


-Cain Velasquez posted a statement to his Twitter account updating his injury status. He did not share a timetable for his return but did indicate that he would not be back soon, telling followers that he wants to be 100 percent healthy before coming back and that he doesn’t want to risk further injury.

-Tony Ferguson appeared on Monday’s “The MMA Hour” and looks to be moving on from Khabib Nurmagomedov. I don’t think he’s doing too good right now,” he said. “So I’m not sure who’s next man.” He proposed a fight with Nate Diaz thinking they could “put on a good show.”

-Amanda Nunes is hoping to defend her title in Rio at UFC 212, but her presumed opponent Valentina Shevchenko tweeted back to Nunes, proposing they fight in July.

-Eduardo Dantas will now fight Leandro Higo at Bellator 177 for the promotion’s Bantamweight Championship after original opponent Darrion Caldwell was forced to pull out due to injury.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/14: Anderson Silva could be used to create new stars or draw immediate money, and he voices preference (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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