“He has my attention and respect now because he is young, but he approaches him as if he were old school, where the best need to fight the best,” Romero said of Adesanya wanting share the octagon with him in order to solidify his place at the top of the division. “That’s why I say he has my attention now because he approaches it like a really smart man and wants to fight with the best.”
Listening to Romero talk about the main event of this weekend and his place in the division, you get the feeling that the stoic religious man who sacrificed more than most could fathom to pursue his current athletic dreams sees all this as a fate – that his consecutive losses to Whittaker and Costa were smaller pieces in a larger puzzle, which brought him back to Las Vegas and another shot at the middleweight title.
“This is a fantastic time,” said Romero at the start of the fight week. “It’s the same place, but the opponent is different. It’s a new chance to get in there and do it.
“This is a chance to do justice,” he added.
And even if he admits that it will mean a lot for his family, the attentive veteran does not allow himself to be anticipated on the emotions that will overwhelm him if he came out victorious Saturday night.
“I don’t know,” said Romero when asked what it would be like to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. “It will mean a lot to my family because of everything I did to get here, all I had to accomplish and everything I had to leave to get to where I am right now.
“But I have no idea (how I’m going to feel). Until I knock him out, I won’t feel like a champion.”
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