Meet Yoel Romero. He’s a nice guy…
Credit: @yoelromeromma / Instagram
Unless you’re locked in a cage with him during an MMA fight. OUCH.
Romero is an MMA fighter who goes by the nickname “The Soldier of God.”
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He currently holds an 11-1 in the UFC and could soon be fighting for a UFC championship belt.
Not bad for a guy who is 38 years old.
Don’t let his age fool you, Romero is in his prime. He’s hasn’t lost a fight since joining the UFC in 2013. The Cuban native has won seven fights in a row, five by knockout.
He’s also a world champion wrestler and an Olympian.
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Representing Cuba in the 2000 Olympics in Athens, Romero took the silver medal in freestyle wrestling. He placed fourth in the 2004 Olympic games and won the 1999 World Wrestling Championships.
And he uses those wrestling skills in the cage:
Yep, Romero flipped that nearly 200-pound guy like it was nothing.
Earlier this year, Romero showed he was for real when he knocked out former UFC Light Heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida. He used his wrestling…
And then he finished Machida off with a series of vicious elbows.
Romero earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus for his efforts.
Before the fame, there was Pinar Del Rio, Cuba.
— Yoel Romero (@YoelRomeroMMA) August 7, 2015
Romero was a product of Cuba’s athletic development program, which meant he was training to be a wrestler at an early age. Romero told MMA Junkie that he originally wanted to try judo – that’s the martial art Ronda Rousey is known for – but a coach told him he had the body of a wrestler.
After his success in freestyle wrestling, Romero wanted to expand his career. He defected from Cuba in 2005 after a wrestling tournament in Germany.
He had to leave his family, but his gamble paid off.
Romero had to be patient once he moved to the US. He worked as a wrestling coach after leaving Cuba and didn’t get his first pro MMA fight until 2009.
Although he made it to the US, he’s still hungry for more.
“He likes fighting more than eating food.” That’s a quote from one of his trainers. Romero is known for his tireless work ethic and tip-top shape.