Ring of Combat veteran Ricardo Romero has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, but plans for him to make his Octagon debut against former WEC light heavyweight champ Steve Cantwell at UFC 116 on July 3 in Las Vegas have fallen through, Heavy reports.
Since a December 2008 DQ loss, Romero (10-1) has won five-straight, including notable wins over former TUF castmembers Karn Grigoryan and James McSweeney as well as a first-round submission of Silmar Rodrigo in his most-recent bout in November.
After becoming the final WEC 205-pound title-holder by avenging a loss to Brian Stann in August 2008, Cantwell (7-3) made his UFC debut that December with a first-round technical submission of Razak Al-Hassan, but has since dropped back-to-back bouts to Luiz Cane last April and Stann in September.
“The Robot” was set to fight Vladimir Matyushenko at January’s UFC 108, but was scratched from the bout and had been sidelined since with an undisclosed medical issue that was finally cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission late last month.
UFC 116 is headlined by the return of heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar vs. interim title-holder Shane Carwin, and also features Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Wanderlei Silva.
Pictured: Steve Cantwell
Updated at 8:00pm ET on 6/3/2010 to indicate Romero-Cantwell is off