In 2016, Yoel Romero’s suspension from USADA was shortened as it was determined that he ingested the banned substance from a tainted supplement. The UFC fighter followed up by suing the supplement company, claiming damage to his reputation and loss of a title fight opportunity, and that Goldstar Performance Products was aware that their supplements were tainted.
The case recently concluded, and on Tuesday, Romero’s team revealed that they have won the lawsuit and have been awarded $27.45 million in damages.
His agent, Abraham Kawa, spoke to multiple outlets, stating that the value came from $3 million for “lost wages,” $3 million for “reputable harm,” and $3 million for “emotional damage,” with the total being multiplied by three based on the state of New Jersey’s “Consumer Fraud Act.”
Romero took to social media about the lawsuit.
“He looked me in the eyes and said “Ibra! I don’t do nothing!” I told him I’d fight with him all the way through. Today we won and we won big,” Kawa wrote on Instagram. “Sure $27.45mil is a lot of money and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. That was not what we expected going into this thing but as I told @yoelromeromma after, God is always good and always on time! So we stopped and he got himself a watch before we headed back home.”
While Romero was awarded this amount, collecting the actual cash is another topic altogether. Lawyer Jason Cruz explained the difficulty he could run into:
Most MMA fans probably don’t know that there must be another proceeding (a completely separate lawsuit) for Romero to realize on the judgment. This might include having to pay to get the money from the defendant and even repossessing property to realize on the actual dollar amount. Even then, it’s unlikely he’ll see that much money. Moreover, in these situations where a company just flat out doesn’t respond to a lawsuit, the plaintiff is just holding a piece of paper. Even if there were assets, they may be in line with more senior creditors trying to get money from them. But most likely, they won’t get the amount the Court granted them.
In the event that Goldstar is still around, there can be several issues at hand. First, they may be claiming no jurisdiction because they have no contacts with the state court in New Jersey. This might be a little far-fetched based on its business address and the old “International Shoe” test for you lawyers out there. Second, they might still appear in the lawsuit within a certain period of time. If so, they can ask the Court to ‘set aside’ the judgment. There might be a monetary penalty if the Court thinks they were just being lazy, but not a $27.45M penalty.
In the end, the judgment looks great on paper. But, unfortunately for Romero, it may be that all he’ll have is paper to hold the judgment.
Romero, 42, last fought in June 2018, where he lost a decision to middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.