Former UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero will make his Bellator debut Saturday against Phil Davis. Romero will be competing at light heavyweight for the first time in his pro MMA career.
How to Watch Bellator 266: Davis vs. Romero:
Event Date: Sept. 18, 2021
Event Time: 10 p.m. ET
TV: Showtime West
Live stream Bellator 266 on fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!
Romero left the UFC on a three-fight losing skid. The decision losses against Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya seemed rooted as much in Romero's inactivity as in his opponent's well-executed game-plans.
Davis has a 78-inch reach that gives him options when battling an opponent, and with his collegiate wrestling background, he should not be deterred by Romero, who has an Olympic silver medal in freestyle.
Romero’s victories against former UFC middleweight champions Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman are several years behind him, but they still provide evidence of his finishing power.
Look to Kelvin Gastelum's impressive run at middleweight as an example: Despite being at a height and reach disadvantage since his move from welterweight, he has landed victories against a number of ranked opponents and has come close to beating several others. Romero likewise may carve a path to Bellator's top light heavyweights, and eventually Ryan Bader.
Neiman Gracie, great-grandson of the legendary Carlos Gracie, has claimed nine of the victories in his 10-2 record via submission. The latest came on a heel hook against Jon Fitch, a highly accomplished grappler in his own right, so Mark Lemminger will be at significant risk should the fight go to the ground.
However these fights play out, we should expect fireworks on display in what is sure to be an eventful Bellator card.