Bellator 266: Yoel Romero vs Phil Davis Fight Prediction and Analysis

Published 09/17/2021, 11:07 AM EDT


After being abruptly cut by the UFC last year, Yoel Romero is about to make his Bellator debut at light heavyweight against Phil Davis. The event takes place this Saturday at Bellator 266 in San Jose, California.

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A veteran of the sport, Yoel Romero first fought at light heavyweight in Strikeforce back in 2011. However, the Cuban soon made the move down to middleweight, becoming a top contender in one of the toughest divisions in the UFC.

Now, at forty-four, ‘The Soldier of God’ will make a return to light heavyweight against a former Bellator champion in Phil Davis. A well-rounded fighter, with exceptional wrestling credentials, Phil Davis is a scary match-up for any fighter in his division.

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Prior to joining Bellator in 2016, Phil Davis fought in the UFC, leaving the organization with an impressive record of 17-4. The Pennsylvania native has several notable victories on his record, including wins against Lyoto Machida, Glover Teixeira, and Alexander Gustafsson.

Going into this matchup, Yoel Romero is coming off a three-fight losing streak in the UFC. While Davis makes his return after a loss to Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 257.

Bellator 266: Yoel Romero vs Phil Davis  

At six feet two, Phil Davis will have a considerable height and six-inch reach advantage against Yoel Romero. Interestingly, both fighters have spectacular wrestling backgrounds. While Romero is an Olympic silver medalist, Davis is a former four-time NCAA Division I All-American. Despite their wrestling pedigree, both fighters are high-level strikers, often putting up some of their most memorable performances on the feet. 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 07: Yoel Romero of Cuba prepares to fight Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC middleweight championship fight during the UFC 248 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Considering the significant reach advantage, Phil Davis will look to keep Romero behind his powerful jab. ‘Mr Wonderful’ could also use his heavy leg kicks to keep Romero at bay without the fear of being taken down to the canvas.  

On the other hand, Yoel Romero must find a way to cut the cage off and get on the inside to nullify his opponent’s size. A phenomenal athlete, Romero’s explosive flying knees and blitz attacks could help him catch Davis off balance.    

 

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However, one must also consider how the move up to light heavyweight could affect Romero’s performance. ‘The Soldier of God’ has shown a tendency to slow down as the fight goes on. Perhaps the additional weight could make matters worse. 

Nevertheless, one can expect the Cuban national to be looking to make a statement in his Bellator debut. Similarly, a win against Yoel Romero will most likely lead Phil Davis to another shot at the title.

Come fight night, it will come down to which fighter is better able to implement their game plan.

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What do you think? Will Yoel Romero begin his Bellator career with a victory? Let us know in the comments.

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David Andrew

147 articles

David Andrew is an MMA author at EssentiallySports with a background in English Literature from St. Stephens College. Prior to his current role, David, who combines his passion for writing and combat sports, contributed to the MMA divisions at Sportskeeda and The Sportsrush.

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