The newly crowned champion was originally set to face Paulo Costa at some point in the near future, but Costa needed bicep surgery and the potential bout was postponed. Adesanya has since called out Yoel Romero for a title defense, but Adesanya claims the UFC doesn’t think a bout pitting him against Romero would sell.
“Man, I already called the guy out. They all say (I backed out). I already said it on JRE. I’ve never ever backed out from anyone, I’ve never backed down, I never will. He’s f—king getting told by his manager. Yeah, I’ve called the guy out, I’ve said I want to fight him. The UFC don’t think that’s going to sell, but f—k records, I just want to fight. I want Yoel, but if we can’t make that happen we have some ideas,” Adesanya said to TMZ Sports (via Tim Burke of Bloody Elbow).
Romero hasn’t had the most stellar record as of late, winning just one of his last four under the UFC banner, with that lone win coming over former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 221. Romero has also had two previous chances to obtain middleweight gold, losing both times to the aforementioned Whittaker at UFC 213 and UFC 225.
UFC President Dana White did say that a top contenders bout was being put together, but the competitors in that fight haven’t been revealed at this time.