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Former UFC stars Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero likely to fight each other on Bellator debut

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Dhruv Sharma
Modified 16 Dec 2020, 21:17 IST

The MMA world was surprised to say the least when it was announced that Yoel Romero had been released from the UFC.

As Dana White would later clarify, it was the first of many releases as UFC was trying to offload about 60 fighters by the end of 2020.

However, UFC’s loss turned out to be Bellator’s gain as Yoel Romero joined the promotion soon after his release.

Yoel Romero though will now fight at 205 pounds, going up a weight class. He has so far fought in the middleweight division in his UFC career.

The Cuban fighter recently spoke with Ariel Helwani and informed us that we might not have to wait very long to see him in Bellator.

“To throw a name out there right now is pure speculation. But there is a huge possibility, almost 90 percent chance that (Anthony Johnson) will be the first to face Yoel Romero.” the Cuban told Helwani.

Anthony Johnson, just like Yoel Romero had recently signed with Bellator.

And again, just like Yoel Romero, he had fought for the championship gold twice in the UFC losing to Daniel Cormier on both occasions.


While Romero has 11 knockout wins to his credit, ‘Rumble’ has flatlined 16 of his opponents.

Johnson recently made his return to professional MMA after a 3.5 year absence having last fought DC in April 2017, losing the fight via submission in the second round. He had then announced his retirement from MMA.

However, recently, there were speculations of his return to MMA. And while he shares a good personal rapport with Dana White, he eventually joined with Bellator to mark his return to the fight game.

Yoel Romero’s saga of his UFC release

Yoel Romero started in the UFC with a bang, winning his first 8 fights with the promotion, 6 via KO.

He was then handed a shot at the interim middleweight title as he took on Robert Whittaker. In perhaps one of the best fights of the year, Romero came agonizingly close but lost the fight via unanimous decision.

He missed weight in his next 2 fights, both for middleweight titles. He won against Luke Rockhold but lost another close fight against Robert Whittaker.

He would then go on to lose his next two fights against Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya. His poor recent form and advancing age led to UFC releasing the former Olympic Silver Medalist. 

Published 16 Dec 2020, 21:17 IST
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