Johnny Eblen would like to defend his middleweight title against Yoel Romero, but he would prefer the Cuban to make 185 pounds before they do.
Since Romero has signed with Bellator, the former UFC title challenger is 2-1 in the promotion with all three fights taking place at light heavyweight. After his third-round KO over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 285, he called for a middleweight title shot which Johnny Eblen is interested in, as long as he makes weight first.
What would Romero need to do for a shot at the title?
“I feel like he needs another solid win, especially at 185, so we can make sure he can make weight because he’s always had weight trouble,” Johnny Eblen told MMA Junkie. “I don’t want to deal with someone who can’t make weight. I don’t know if that dude’s all-natural. I really don’t care. I’ll beat his ass if he’s on steroids or not. I don’t care. Not to say that he’s on steroids, but I don’t know. Who knows. All these motherf*ckers are on steroids, (said) Nate Diaz.”
After Romero’s win, he said he was the best middleweight and called for a title shot. However, Eblen doesn’t think that is true at all and believes Romero is a great name for his resume but is uncertain if it happens next.
“He’s not (the best middleweight),” Eblen said. “He’s good. He’s explosive, especially at 45 (years old). He’s still dangerous in some scenarios, but I think I would put on a pressure he couldn’t sustain and I think I would drown him out there. I think he’s a good name to beat. He would be a good name to add to the resume.”
If the Yoel Romero fight doesn’t happen, Johnny Eblen lists Anatoly Tokov or Fabian Edwards as possible next opponents. The champ is 12-0 and coming off a dominant decision win over Gegard Mousasi to become the new champ in his career, he also holds notable wins over John Salter and Collin Huckbody.