Al’s Notes: After Cuban-born Yoel Romero whipped Lyoto Machia Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in Hollywood, Florida, he whooped it up with a call for the United States to remember Jesus. UFC president Dana White, no mouth slouch himself, told Romero: “You just won the biggest fight of your career, American doesn’t want to hear your thoughts on Jesus. Keep that stuff at home…love Jesus all you want. You just don’t have to do it publicly.” The demand to keep your faith to yourself is almost always a sign that the speaker doesn’t know Christ. Yes, there are better and worse places to bear witness. But the insistence to keep it to yourself proves that Dana White has never encountered Christ. The phrase “Jesus is Lord” is not just a matter of my private value but is a public fact that all will one day acknowledge. White, however, is representative of America’s understanding of the relationship between faith and public life. Faith is like spit; it’s a good thing you’ve got a little of it. But keep it to yourself! – Al Kresta
Did he or didn’t he?
That was the talk after Yoel Romero authoritatively dismissed Lyoto Machida on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in Hollywood, Florida. The performance itself was stellar, with little to no mistakes on the Cuban-born immigrant’s behalf.
The post-fight speech, however, was an entirely different story. Fans and critics immediately rushed to their DVRs in an attempt to decipher what exactly was said when the 38-year-old contender took to the microphone after a career-defining victory over “The Dragon.”
This much we do know: Romero was upset with America. He yelled at America through our television sets with great fervor. He wanted America to fix something.
Then, depending on your auditory skills, you either heard Romero say something about “no for gay Jesus,” or “no forget Jesus.”
Romero wanted to fix something happening in America and post-fight he clarified his statements and said he was simply referring to the decline of the “American dream” – even though we were just 24 hours removed from the Supreme Court’s benchmark ruling on marriage equality, many accepted Romero’s apology and moved on.
UFC president Dana White has spent his entire career speaking loudly into microphones and he certainly has had more than his fair share of on-air snafus. So, he admittedly understood Romero’s passion. However, like many, White would liked to have seen Romero choose a different time and place to speak his mind.
Yoel Romero celebrates after defeating Lyoto Machida on Saturday. (Getty)
“No, it wasn’t controversial at all,” White told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani. “But the reality is this: You just won the biggest fight of your career, America doesn’t want to hear your thoughts on Jesus.
“Keep that stuff at home; religion, politics, all that stuff. When you’re out there fighting and you’re being interviewed, they want to hear about the fight. It’s awesome you love Jesus; love Jesus all you want. You just don’t have to do it publicly.”
White, who was not in attendance on Saturday, is positive Romero made no reference to marriage equality in his post-fight speech.
He is also positive that UFC viewers aren’t exactly the type to enjoy being yelled at through a television set.
“I know he didn’t say that,” White replied. “I know he didn’t say it, everybody knows he didn’t say that. People react to everything but if you would just keep that stuff – you know…talk about your fight. People don’t want to be preached to.”