Wrestlers Davis and Romero Go Head To Head In Bellator MMA This Weekend

Image Credit: Bellator MMA

 

This weekend is chock full of mixed martial arts with Bellator MMA coming live from San Jose, California, tonight with an intriguing main event offering.

A pair of elite mixed martial artists will meet in the main event of BELLATOR MMA 266 tonight. Inside the SAP Center at San Jose, former 205-pound champion and No. 3 ranked light heavyweight Phil Davis (22-6, 6 KOs) welcomes MMA star Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (13-5, 11 KOs) to the Bellator MMA promotion.

The fight airs on Showtime.

The Cuban Olympian Cometh

Romero spent the past seven years and 13 fights with the UFC. However, after a three-fight losing skid, the Cuban Olympian is now with Bellator.

Fighting out of Miami, Romero will be making his highly anticipated Bellator debut against another former UFC product in Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis.

Romero hails from the famed American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Florida. He became one of the most sought-after free agents but ultimately signed with Bellator in December 2020.

“Fans are going to be able to see my growth within mixed martial arts and that I’m always in great physical form,” said Romero. “The experience that I’ve had so far with Bellator has been nothing but fantastic and I’m looking forward to taking part in this upcoming match.”

Romero fought at middleweight for the UFC and couldn’t make weight on two occasions for the title. The move to light heavyweight is more conducive to a title run sans scale issues.

“I feel good because I didn’t have to drop weight. I just kept my own weight. I just switched divisions and kept my own weight. And I’ve always trained with heavyweights and light heavyweights within my training camp. I’m completely adapted to the heavier weights.”

Romero possesses knockout power, with 11 of his 13 career victories coming by way of KO; four went in the first round. Romero is also a highly decorated wrestler. A three-time World Cup freestyle wrestling champion, five-time Pan-American freestyle wrestling champion, and 2000 Olympics freestyle wrestling silver medalist.

The Wonderful Wrestler

However, he faces Phil Davis, hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, searching for his 10th Bellator victory. A former Bellator light heavyweight world champion, Davis is looking to make another run for the strap. Davis was on a winning run, getting the victory in three of his past four bouts.

Consequently, he ran into Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 257 in April and lost a unanimous decision. The “L” took him out of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.

But Davis was a four-time NCAA Division-I All-American wrestler at Penn State University. Few can hold their own once he gets them to the ground, making the matchup against Romero interesting.

“I think just the size advantage isn’t necessarily the only factor in the fight,” said Davis. “I think he’s gone up against some rangy guys. Weight-wise I think he probably is one of the guys that may have adjusted to the weight better than most guys.

“He’s had a long layoff an opportunity to actually build up to the weight class. I think honestly the difference will be just a style matchup.”

Styles make fights, and this is a battle of two elite wrestlers.

“He and I are both very good at getting a read on the tempo and the footwork and another guys’ angles,” said Davis.

“I think there’s going to be a feeling out process where we’re both trying to see where the other person is spatially and see what kind of angles and feints and fakes were using. After that I think it’s 4th of July. Fireworks!”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettΒ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.