The long-awaited Bellator debut of Yoel Romero is finally here.
“The Soldier of God,” an Olympic silver medallist in freestyle wrestling and multi-time UFC title challenger, was all set to kick off his Bellator career against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at Bellator 258 in May, but he was ruled out of the light heavyweight grand prix bout after failing his pre-fight medicals.
Now Romero is back to 100 per cent and ready to set foot in the Bellator cage for the first time. And he’s looking to regain the form that saw him become one of the most terrifying forces in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Fighting at 185 pounds and blessed with the physique of a superhero, Romero defied his age as he quickly established himself as one of the most dangerous fighters on the UFC roster. But, after falling short in three attempts to capture UFC gold, he eventually departed the promotion and was swiftly snapped up by Bellator, who announced the Cuban powerhouse would compete at light heavyweight.
With Romero now free to compete without the need for a punishing pre-fight weight cut, expectations are high ahead of his debut. But Romero is set to face one of the very best light heavyweights on the planet.
Phil “Mr Wonderful” Davis is a former Bellator 205-pound champion, whose only defeats in the Bellator cage have come to world champions – Ryan Bader and Vadim Nemkov.
Now, after being edged out by current champ Nemkov on the scorecards in the quarter-finals of the light heavyweight grand prix, Davis will look to push himself to the front of the queue to face the eventual tournament winner by defeating Romero on Saturday night.
With both men possessing world class wrestling skills, there’s a fair chance this could turn into an all-out stand-up war, with Davis’ size and reach advantages going up against Romero’s explosive, unpredictable striking style. It should deliver a spectacular main event.
Bellator 266 takes place at the SAP Center – locally known as “The Shark Tank” – in San Jose, with the event set to be aired live in the United States on Showtime and in the U.K. on BBC iPlayer.
Bellator 266: Main Card
- Phil Davis vs. Yoel Romero
- Neiman Gracie vs. Mark Lemminger
- DeAnna Bennett vs. Alejandra Lara
- Christian Edwards vs. Ben Parrish
- Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Saul Rogers