A top underrated prospect in Anthony “The Genius” Romero steps back into the cage March 7 for Ohio Combat League 7. He’s set to take on a tough test in Jake Miller. Romero looks to stay undefeated and move to 7-0 as a professional. Plus, the lightweight title will be up for grabs. We got to know the 23-year-old Canadian from Welland, Ontario a little better ahead of the fight.
First of all, how did you get into MMA?
Martial Arts has been a big part of my life. I started with Taekwondo at the age of 5, got my black belt at 11. I then found Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing at 12 and continued training until I turned 18, where I began my MMA career.
Do you have any background in any other sports? If so, explain?
Yes, I played soccer for many years starting at the age of 4. I traveled across Ontario playing competitively until there came a point where I had to choose between MMA and soccer. I didn’t have the time to train and play at elite levels for two sports.
What do you do for work, or would MMA be your full-time job?
I run my own business (Genius Fitness & MMA). I teach classes and have personal training sessions. I am very passionate about teaching and inspiring others. I would like to continue this after my career is said and done.
Who are you currently training with and who are some of your main sparring partners?
I am currently training with Parabellum MMA and Niagara Top Team. I have many great sparring partners who are currently in the UFC, Bellator and local champions on the regional scene.
List of accomplishments such as titles, belt ranks, etc…?
BJJ Brown Belt
Taekwondo Black Belt
World IBJJF Bronze Medallist
Former Iron Tiger Fight Series, Bizzaro, and Pinnacle Amateur Lightweight Champion
What are your favorite striking and grappling techniques?
Flying knees, elbows and double leg takedowns.
You had a lengthy amateur career. What was the reason for taking so many fights before going pro, and how important do you think it is to get that experience first before going pro?
I believe it was important to have experience in my amateur career to help me get ready for the pros. I also went to University during my amateur career and wanted to make sure I had time to train properly when I became pro.
What has been the biggest up and down of your career thus far?
There have been many ups and downs in this sport. In 2016, I took home 3 amateur belts which were amazing. I’ve had minimal injuries. Fighters pulling out of fights has got me down a few times. One of the very big disappointing moments was not being able to compete on the Contender Series this past summer due to being signed with King of the Cage. Hoping for a shot this season.
You have fought for KOTC for a good part of your career. With all the negative comments about the organization how was your time under contract there?
Nothing bad to say besides not being able to compete on the Contender Series. They have always treated me with respect and helped me start my career.
You’re set to fight Jake Miller coming up. What do you think of him as an opponent and how do you see this fight playing out?
He’s a great opponent to compete against. He has a good record and seems legit. I am excited about this challenge and ready to take my first pro title home to Canada. I am happy to take the fight wherever it goes because I am skilled in everything. That’s all I have to say.
For the fans that have never watched you before what would you tell them to expect when you are in that cage?
Expect a full display of Mixed Martial Arts. You will experience “The Genius” at work doing what he does best. Anything is possible.
If you weren’t fighting today where would you be?
I would still be running my gym Genius Fitness and MMA. I love to be physically fit and helping others achieve their fitness goals.
Last question. Why do you fight and who do you fight for?
I fight because I have a deep passion for this sport and I want to achieve greatness and continue to challenge myself. I fight for myself and my family, my sponsors, my City of Welland, and my manager Matt Dodge of Dodge Sports.