BREAKING: Yoel Romero and Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson Make Their Bellator MMA Debut in April Against Each Other

Published 02/10/2021, 12:39 AM EST


Former UFC talents, Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson, who took their skills over to Bellator MMA, will duke it out. The aforementioned title challengers at UFC’s middleweight and light heavyweight respectively will scrap on April 17, 2021, in the quarterfinals of a light heavyweight tournament set-up.

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Romero and ‘Rumble’ who will compete in the quarterfinals at Bellator 257, come in as one of the most anticipated match-ups. Both men have had interesting journeys towards the end of their UFC runs, to say the very least. Additionally, divisional champion Vadim Nemkov rematches former champion, Phil Davis, on the same card in April.

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Bellator 257: Yoel Romero vs Anthony Johnson

The Soldier of God’ came into Bellator MMA off the back of an eye-brow raising split with the UFC. Romero who had competed for UFC gold in March 2020 found himself on the out heading into the new year. Fans were taken aback by this move and it’s easy to see why. He’s been a high-caliber title challenger on multiple occasions, and the only thing going against him was father time.

Yoel Romero was on somewhat of a skid prior to his departure. However, his losses came only to the division’s best. He lost narrow decisions to Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Israel Adesanya in a fight he could have stolen away. Regardless of his skid, there was little doubt that he entered the free market as a valuable commodity.

Anthony Johnson has been out of the game for a while now. His last fight came in 2017 when he submitted to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 and retired. Prior to his last fight, ‘Rumble’ was on a three-fight win streak, having flatlined all his opposition via KO.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 20: Anthony Johnson celebrates after defeating Glover Teixeira of Brazil in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The 43-year-old Romero is on a final run and ‘Rumble’ is making a comeback to the cage. Hence, the aforementioned fight offers several intriguing narratives heading in, none more so than the odds of a violent KO.

Both men personified explosiveness and power throughout their UFC run, and it wouldn’t be wise to blink during their scrap. Not to mention, Romero and Johnson have both chased belts multiple times, making this potentially their last shot.

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Who do you think will win?

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Darryl Pinto

1607 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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