Just like how they did with UFC great Anderson Silva, Bellator decided to pass on the signing of Yoel Romero. The company never really stated their reason, until CEO Scott Coker spoke to MMA Junkie about it this week.
Coker’s reason for saying no to the “Soldier of God” was the same when he declined “The Spider’s” possible inclusion into the Bellator roster: he is “happy” with how his roster is right now.
Bellator boss @ScottCoker detail why he passed on signing @YoelRomeroMMA: "I'm very happy with the way the roster sits."@mma_kings' full interview: https://t.co/f2go9VEr4H pic.twitter.com/nf0QxcKNSC— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) December 10, 2020
“If you look at our roster, and how many fighters we have, how many fights we’re gonna do, there’s only so many TV spots,” he said. “And we’ve kind of gotten away from signing the OGs that we used to sign back in the day. And that’s because guys like AJ (McKee) are coming up. Ilima (Lei Macfarlane) is developing into a main event fighter.
“We’ve basically built from the bottom up, and we have a lot of great fighters that are on the roster that we built over the last four to five years, and we were kind of heading in a different direction.
“I’m happy with the way the roster is right now, not adding anybody,” he added. “It’s just when you get a fighter like Corey (Anderson) that’s available, we grabbed him. A fighter like A.J is available, we grabbed him. So we’re gonna pick and choose and be very picky because I really am very happy with the way the roster sits right now.”
Coker may have closed his doors on Romero for now, but he is open to having a conversation in the future.
“The dialogue will always be open. And things change quickly in this sport, so you never know. But the initial thought was… I talked to my guys and they felt it was better for us to pass.”
Apart from BKFC, Polish promotion company KSW also expressed interest in signing the 43-year-old veteran. Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort also wants a piece of Romero under the ONE Championship banner.