Anthony Romero thinks he is very close to his goal of fighting in the UFC. An impressive win this Sunday will likely get him there, the Canadian believes.
It has been a year and a month since Canada’s Romero was snubbed on Dana White’s Contender Series. He defeated Mike Breeden via a dominant unanimous decision but the UFC opted to pass on him. That decision made waves throughout the MMA world.
Instead of signing with Bellator or the PFL, Romero chose to believe in himself, knowing he would make it back to the UFC. He followed up his Contender Series performance four months later against Zach Juusola at LFA 96. He won via split decision.
“The Genius” was supposed to return in June fighting under the Texas-based promotion Fury Fighting Championship. But, unfortunately, his opponent pulled out of the fight, delaying his things.
Three months later, he headlines Fury FC 50 against JJ Okanovich, another fighter who won on Dana White’s Contender Series but was denied a contract.
Romero believes the winner of the fight will get the call by the UFC— at least if it is an impressive win.
“This fight really made sense. We were both on the Contender Series; we were both super close to getting to that next level, we both fought tough competition. So, it’s going to be an exciting fight because it’s a clash of styles,” Romero told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview ahead of the event. “I feel like whoever wins this one will get to that next level.”
The only catch is that the lightweight knows the victory must stand out. “It has to be impressive. Either I finish him, or he finishes me, and we get to the Contender Series or the UFC. That’s like the title of this fight: the opportunity with the UFC.”
Romero predicts a finish. Though he said he won’t force it, Romero added that he knows it will naturally come.
Anthony Romero will fight JJ Okanovich in the main event of Fury FC 50 on Sunday, September 5. The event will be available exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Watch the rest of the interview with Anthony Romero above, where he talks about his last fight, his nickname, the state of MMA in Canada, and more.