Per Brett Okamoto (ESPN), Dana White confirmed Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza will take on Yoel Romero on April 27th in Sunrise, Florida for UFC on ESPN 3. This news comes out on the heels of Romero’s appearance on a Spanish reality TV show.
The matchup comes as a bit of a surprise. Up until this fight was announced, the UFC was supposedly trying to book Yoel Romero against Paulo Costa. This matchup fell through in the past, but it remains unclear what exactly prevented it from happening this time around.
This isn’t the first time Souza and Romero have stepped into the octagon together. The two middleweight contenders first met in December of 2015 at UFC 194. After going three full rounds, Romero was awarded a razor-thin split-decision victory. As is the case with most close fights, the outcome of the clash wasn’t without controversy. Immediately after the judges rendered their decision, fans took to social media and debated the outcome among one another. Hopefully, the rematch will provide closure for fight fans with a more conclusive outcome.
Similar to the first fight, ‘Jacare’ finds himself on the cusp of a title shot. A victory over Romero could be the final piece to the puzzle. Although the same could be said about defeating Souza, Romero finds himself in a difficult position. Having lost two fights to the current champion Robert Whittaker, it’s difficult to determine what exactly Romero could do to earn himself another title shot at middleweight. Certainly, a dominant victory over Souza couldn’t hurt his chances, though any other outcome could act as the final nail in his coffin.
Should the winner of Israel Adesanya/Kelvin Gastelum defeat Whittaker, Romero could realistically have another go at the UFC middleweight title. The next step to making that a possibility for either combatant will be to win this fight. ‘Jacare’ is closing in on 40-years-old. Romero will be three days away from his 42nd birthday on fight night. Win or lose, for Romero or Souza, time will be of the essence.