There were questions about Yoel Romero coming into Romero's UFC on Fox 11 bout with Brad Tavares. In the aftermath of the bout, we now know that the Cuban Olympic silver medalist is for real.
Romero used timely, devastating striking, powerful takedowns and masterful top control to completely dominate his Hawaiian opponent. It was a one-sided performance that really had fans singing his praises because many thought Tavares to be a credible, tough opponent.
Given the quality of the win, Romero has truly become as legit as he's ever been. He now can command matchups with middleweights in the UFC's Top 15, which will further raise his profile.
Forget the fact that he is a knockout striker with dynamite in his hands and solid kicks. Romero is a phenomenon in terms of athleticism and explosiveness, using his superior acumen to ragdoll others.
Since entering the UFC, the Cuban has beat the likes of Clifford Starks, Ronny Markes, Derek Brunson and Tavares. That is a solid resume of wins, especially since most of those guys are grinders that wear down their opponents.
Sure, he has demonstrated some flaws in those fights, but Romero has still prevailed. The gigantic middleweight showed great improvement against Tavares, which can carry him far in the division.
If Romero can use his wrestling more effectively like he did Saturday night, he is going to be super tough to beat. His wrestling base (one which won him a silver medal) and powerslams will be a lot for most fighters to handle and be overwhelming in many cases.
We don't know who Romero moves onto next. That being said, he likely takes on a Top 10 fighter.
Joe Rogan said that he would love to see Romero against Chris Weidman or Vitor Belfort. I obviously think those two fights are a little off, but not too far away, to be honest.
Against the Top 10, Romero matches up pretty well. Give him Tim Kennedy or the winner of Luke Rockhold-Tim Boetsch. Either of those fights, if they resulted in wins, could propel Romero into a title bout.
At 36, Romero's window is closing. He needs to be pushed to the main event scene soon because his prime won't be here forever.