Anthony “The Genius” Romero (5-0) recently revealed that Canadian fight promotion King Of The Cage (KOTC) blocked his potential move into the UFC. The 22-year-old Welland, Ontario native had hoped to compete on this season of Contender Series, but will instead fight out his KOTC contract on Sept. 21st.
A lifelong martial artist from a fighting family, Romero is already subject to plenty of offers despite being tied to KOTC. “The Genius” believes even more may come once he completes his contract. “I’ve been having a lot of offers, while I’m still a contracted fighter. I can’t imagine the offers I’ll have when I’m a free agent.”
Contender Series Snub & KOTC Relationship
Contender Series has become the quickest route into the UFC and has saw the likes of Geoff Neal, Ricky Simon and Johnny Walker go on to become serious players in their respective divisions. Romero, without the permission of his contracted promotion KOTC, was forced to turn down the opportunity to fight on the Contender Series. He told The Scrap exactly how the events played out.
“They [UFC] like the way I fight and the person I am. Putting me in Contender Series was a perfect fit. KOTC contracts say I need to permission to take other fights, they didn’t give me it, so I wasn’t able to go on the show because of the contract.”
Romero is understandably “disappointed” by this huge opportunity he was unable to take, but maintained a positive outlook as he believes, “everything happens for a reason.”
Despite KOTC standing in the way of his UFC dream, “The Genius” remains on good terms with the Canadian fight promotion who he says have “treated me well” ahead of the final fight of his contract. Romero refused to rule out resigning with KOTC, despite recent events. “It all depends on what they [KOTC] offer compared to what other people are offering.”
First Things First
Away from the talk of contracts, free agency and what’s next, Anthony Romero is hard at work training for a fight next month. The Canadian prospect spreads his time between Niagara Top Team and Para Bellum MMA as he prepares to take on Troy Wittman (6-2).
For “The Genius,” his opponent is a “long, rangy fighter with some jiu jitsu,” but is almost irrelevant as he focuses on himself and being the best Romero he can be. A humble, yet confident fighter, Romero says, “I always go in knowing I’m the better fighter wherever the fight takes place.”
The goal for Romero is to get this fight done as quickly as possible. With just two finishes in his first five professional fights, the 22-year-old Canadian has been striving to get more stoppages, something he did in his last fight- taking less than a round to inflict a first loss on Juan Roman’s record.
“My goal is to take as least damage as I can. Get in and get out. If I can get a 5 second knockout, I’ll take it.”
Romero is aiming to make it two KO finishes in a row against Troy Wittamn in New York.
Young, hungry and talented, Anthony Romero may well be a future star of the sport, at least that is his aim he said. “I want to be the best. I want to be world champion. I want everything.”
Like any other contender, Romero wants to enter the UFC and he wants to do it sooner rather than later.
“The goal is the UFC if I can go straight their that would be great.”
With free agency looming, Romero may well become one of the most sought after prospects in the MMA. With a number of offers already on the table and plenty more to come before 2019 is out. “The Genius” will need to look smart in his KOTC fight next month to move to 6-0 and further impress the numerous promotions who will fight it out for his coveted signature.
Make sure to follow The Scrap News (@thescrapnews) on Twitter.
The Scrap’s Jordan Ellis of Liverpool, UK is a lifelong fight fan and aspiring writer. Covering all things MMA and Boxing, you can follow him on Twitter (@JordanEllisUK) for daily fight news and content.