The longtime middleweight title contender reportedly had three fights remaining on his contract. Romero lost four of his last five bouts dating back to 2017, including three shots at the belt with his most recent coming against Israel Adesanya in March. In the one fight he won during that stretch—a knockout over Luke Rockhold at UFC 221—Romero was ineligible to claim the middleweight championship after missing weight.
"While we didn't expect Romero's time in the UFC to end like this, we are grateful for the opportunities [UFC president] Dana White, [general counsel] Hunter Campbell and [matchmaker] Mick Maynard gave him over the years," Romero's manager Malki Kawa told Helwani. "He's ready to move on now and resume his career, and we are already talking to other promotions as we speak."
It's unclear where Romero will land next.
Helwani noted the trained wrestler leaves the company as one of the best fighters in UFC history to never win a title.
He may be able to find a championship belt elsewhere, but few promoters offer the type of stardom Dana White and UFC can manufacture.
At 43 years old, Romero ends his UFC tenure with a record of 9-4 including victories against Chris Weidman, Derek Brunson and Tim Kennedy.