Romero was medically cleared yesterday by Bellator and president Scott Coker and the promotion wasted no time in getting him a fight date and an opponent. Romero was originally slated to compete against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix before he had to pull out due to health concerns.
The Romero vs. Davis matchup features a pair of former UFC standouts, with Romero having recently fought for the title against Israel Adesanya in his last appearance and Davis losing a unanimous decision to light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 257. Before the loss to Nemkov, Davis had won three straight fights and looks to get back on track against Bellator newcomer Romero.
Romero and Davis will be the main event at Bellator 266 as the top light heavyweight contenders compete in the grand prix semifinals. Johnson will face Nemkov, while former UFC light heavyweight Corey Anderson will face heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader. The winner of Romero vs. Davis has the opportunity to move closer to a No. 1 contender spot against the winner of the grand prix.
The bout also features a battle of two elite wrestlers. Romero represented his native Cuba with a silver medal performance in the 2000 Summer Olympics in freestyle wrestling, while Davis has dominated on the ground since his days competing at Penn State on the NCAA level.
Romero is looking for his first win in MMA since knocking out Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 for the interim middleweight title. A win over a tough opponent like Davis would mark Romero’s arrival to Bellator in style, and prove that he still has what it takes to fight against the best of the best in the light heavyweight division.
What’s your early prediction for Yoel Romero vs. Phil Davis?