Undefeated Anthony Romero looks to capitalize on another opportunity for a UFC contract when he competes in the co-main event this Friday at LFA 96.
Originally slated to face Alex Trinidad (5-2), the Canadian will now take on 17-fight veteran Zach Juusola instead. Despite the switch up in opponent, Romero says preparations have primarily remained the same.
“Just difference in height and a little bit of different style, but both are southpaw,” Romero told The Scrap. “My new opponent, like 6’1, and my older opponent was like 5’8. So a little bit different in height. And then my other opponent was more of a wrestler. For this guy, he’s well rounded. So a little bit of a switch-up, but my whole camp is dedicated to myself and just getting better every day. And if there is a switch up, like exactly what happened, and I’m ready either way.”
Romero (8-0) defeated Mike Breeden by a decision on DWCS in August and while the 23-year-old picked up a decisive victory, it wasn’t enough to secure a UFC contract. Romero carries a bit of a chip on his shoulder from that experience and will use that as motivation in Friday’s matchup.
“Everyone’s been super supportive,” Romero said. “And I still feel like I have a chip on my shoulder. Like I have a lot to prove. I know I’m still young, but I have a lot to give to this, this sport, and it just gives you more time to develop and get better for that, that big stage. And I want to make sure that when I get there that I’m truly ready, and I’ve been tested. So this is just another fight on my resume. The goal is to win and impressively get a finish would be a bonus. But I’m not really going to look to Switch up my style or anything like that. I’m just gonna be myself and the performance again.”
Juusola (11-6) heads into the matchup off a three-fight skid, most recently losing to UFC lightweight Tristan Connelly at Final Fight Championship 36 in May 2019. The 33-year-old did however pick up a second-round TKO victory in bare-knuckle boxing at BKFC 8: in Oct. 2019.
“The Genius” knows what’s at stake on Friday and regardless of getting a UFC contract or now, a win here would lead to bigger and better opportunities going forward.
“I can see a finish happening,” Romero explained. “But if I have to take the deep waters and go 15 minutes. I’m willing to prove that I can do that again. But I’m not looking to force it. Because I feel like when you force things … it’s a train wreck. So looking for opportunities. If it’s there, I’ll take it, if it’s not, I’m going to win either way.”