UFC 184 already features the middleweight championship bout between current titleholder Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort, as well as Ronda Rousey putting her bantamweight belt on the line against Cat Zingano. It will take place on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Jacare (21-3, 1 NC) is a former Strikeforce champion and comes into this fight with Romero riding a seven-fight winning streak. He most recently stepped in the Octagon as one half of the main event of UFC Fight Night 50 in early September, where he submitted Gegard Mousasi in a Performance of the Night effort.
Romero (9-1) has steadily been working his way towards the top of the weight class since joining the UFC last year. He has won all five of his UFC bouts, but is coming off of a controversial stoppage of Tim Kennedy at UFC 178.
Kennedy had Romero rocked in the second round of their fight and nearly finished him, but due to an error by the cutman and some alleged stalling by Romero’s corner in between rounds, the Cuban-born fighter had about an extra 30 seconds to recover. He finished Kennedy via TKO stoppage 38 seconds into the third frame.
Jacare and Luke Rockhold are largely considered the top two middleweight contenders behind Belfort. And while Rockhold told UFC Tonight recently that he would be at the ready if Belfort has any issues with his pre-fight drug testing or withdraws due to injury, the UFC putting Jacare on the card certainly gives them another option to keep the main event in tact if Belfort of Weidman drops out suddenly.