One of the most feared middleweights in recent UFC memory is headed to a new home in 2021.
Yoel Romero, it was reported Monday, will join Bellator in the new year after news broke earlier this month that he had parted ways with the UFC. Romero (13-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) leaves the promotion on a three-fight skid with just one win in his past five fights.
In March, his only fight in 2020, Romero lost a unanimous decision against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. He got that title shot despite coming off a decision loss to Paulo Costa in August 2017. And prior to that, he lost a split decision to then-champion Robert Whittaker in a rematch.
Romero, a silver medalist in wrestling for Cuba at the 2000 Olympic Games, is expected to fight at light heavyweight when he gets to Bellator. It will be a return to the division in which he fought early in his career before dropping to 185 pounds when he signed with the UFC in 2013. Romero twice missed the middleweight limit on the scale – in back-to-back title fights, making him ineligible first for the interim title against Luke Rockhold in a fight he won, and then ineligible in his rematch with Whittaker.
Now that he’ll have a new division and a new promotional home, let’s take a quick look at some of the names who could be on the horizon for the 43-year-old “Soldier of God” in Bellator’s light heavyweight division.
Note: This is not a ranking.