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Yoel Romero vs. Phil Davis headlines Bellator 266

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Romero has not fought since losing to Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in March 2020.

UFC 248 Adesanya v Romero
Yoel Romero reacts at the end of his fight against Israel Adesanya, which none of us fondly remembers.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Take two on Yoel Romero’s Bellator MMA debut.

The former UFC middleweight contender will mark his return to light heavyweight on September 18th against fellow former UFC contender and one-time Bellator champion Phil Davis at Bellator 266 in San Jose, CA. Romero has not fought at 205 lbs since he was knocked out by Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante in Strikeforce way back in 2011.

Romero (13-5) is on a three-fight losing streak, with all of those defeats coming via close decisions against Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Israel Adesanya. ‘The Soldier of God’ was supposed to be part of Bellator’s light heavyweight Grand Prix, but his quarterfinal matchup with Anthony Johnson was nixed when Romero failed his pre-fight medicals with an eye issue.

Davis (22-6, 1 NC) won the Bellator light heavyweight title by defeating Liam McGeary in 2016. His reign as champ ended with a split decision loss to Ryan Bader. ‘Mr. Wonderful’ went on to win five of his next six bouts before his title fight loss to Vadim Nemkov in the LHW GP quarterfinals.

September 18th is shaping up to be a busy night for combat sports. In addition to Bellator 266, Showtime Championship Boxing will have a unification fight at 122 lbs between WBC champion Brandon Figueroa and WBO champ Stephen Fulton as its main event, so the Bellator-Boxing combo will be presented as a doubleheader. Meanwhile, the UFC has a Fight Night card tentatively headlined by former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann.