Before becoming a mixed martial artist, Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter and Cuban American Yoel Romero (7-1) says his passion at first was boxing, but his father motivated him to go another route.
In an interview with The Roman Show, Romero, who meets Brad Tavares (12-1) April 19 on UFC on Fox 11 in Orlando, Fl., says his original love was the sport of boxing, but his family had all been involved in wrestling.
“I would sneak around and practice boxing even though my dad told me that boxing was rough,” he said.
He wrestled for the Cuban national team and later represented his country in the Olympics were he won a medal.
But the passion for boxing has come in handy, as he has knocked out all three UFC opponents he has faced. However, Tavares brings in a record, which includes him being undefeated in the last two years.
“He is an athlete that knows how to work,” he said. “I give him merit. But these are just steps you have to take and I have faith in God.”
Romero’s last fight was a TKO victory against Derek Brunson where he was tested in the first two rounds.
“We knew that the fight in regards to the plan we knew we had to have him work,” he referred to his last fight. “We had to give it our all in the third round. We knew he got tired. We knew he was going to get tired. One of my trainers told me we have to come out and knock him out. My other trainer told me, ‘Jesus is with you’.”
Meanwhile, Tavares has five wins in a row, but all the victories have come by way of decision.
“He is younger than me. This is his first time the fight favors him,” he said. “He is a complete mma fighter and how it should be. He is an athlete that belongs in mma.”
The American Top Team fighter also described an incident regarding his fight shorts in his last fight and his faith.
“I am Christian I confide in God,” he said. “God never leaves you no matter the situation. I learned that.”
He also addressed living in his native Cuba and his family.