Yoel Romero Drops a Massive Name for His Bellator Debut at Light Heavyweight

Published 12/16/2020, 2:37 PM EST


In just a matter of two weeks, Yoel Romero went from being a top-ranked UFC middleweight to a light heavyweight in Bellator. While the transition was fairly quick and unexpected, Romero is now preparing for new challenges. Regarding the same, the Cuban believes that he could fight Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson in his Bellator debut.

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While talking to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Romero detailed that the release from the UFC was highly unexpected. However, he won’t let it deter his goal of becoming a world champion. ‘The Soldier of God’ has had three shots to capture UFC middleweight gold. However, he came up short every time.

In his new chapter with Bellator, Romero will move up a weight class and compete at 205-pounds. Given his name and value despite his recent debacles, he won’t be far away from a title shot in the division. Meanwhile, the former Olympic medalist has only good things to say about his new division.

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“At 205 [pounds], Bellator has a huge amount of incredible athletes. Malki [Romero’s manager] and I were looking at all the 205ers that are there. Incredible talent,” Romero said through his translator, Ray.

“In the 205 division, not talking about the champ you got three or four incredible athletes that have always been between No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 of the top competitors even when Jon ‘Bones’ Jones which for me is the pound-for-pound best fighter ever in MMA history. In the division, there are a lot of prospects, there’s a lot of opportunities.”

Yoel Romero says 90 percent chance he will Anthony Johnson in his Bellator debut

Along with Romero, Bellator also signed former UFC light heavyweight challenger Anthony Johnson earlier this month. ‘Rumble’ had retired from the sport in 2017 following a loss at the hands of Daniel Cormier. However, soon after pictures of him looking jacked surfaced online, which lead to speculations about his return.

Had it not been for the pandemic, Johnson would’ve probably returned a bit earlier. Nonetheless, signing him was a big positive for Bellator MMA. It makes much more sense now that they have racked in Romero as well. A fight between the two fan-favorites will surely generate a ton of buzz.

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To throw a name out there right now is pure speculation because there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that I’m not supposed to speak about. There’s a huge possibility that 90 percent chance that he [Anthony Johnson] will be the first one to face Yoel Romero. I know that is a fight that will please people and they will want to see that fight,” Romero added.

Romero is eyeing early March as the date for his Bellator debut. As for ‘Rumble Johnson’, he will face Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in a Submission Underground event this weekend.

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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