After Yoel Romero was released by the UFC, Scott Coker revealed Bellator was not interested, yet those changes planned.
After a week or so, it was then reported that Romero has indeed signed with the Viacom-owned promotion. According to Coker, he says after signing Rumble Johnson, he heard from fans that they wanted to see Johnson vs Romero, so he ended up pulling the trigger on the move.
“Yoel started with us in Strikeforce back in 2008,” Coker recently told MMA Junkie. “Part of me wanted to do it. Part of me didn’t want to do it. After we signed ‘Rumble’ (Johnson), we had the chance to (sign) Yoel. We passed on (him). I’ll tell you, honestly, the amount of support he got coming through our doors and through the social channels really was impressive. Everybody wanted to see the Yoel Romero vs. ‘Rumble’ Johnson fight. I huddled up with my team.”
Coker adds that despite saying no, he was in constant talks with Romero and his team in case something changed. Eventually, something did change and Bellator is glad they signed him. Coker knows the Cuban is an elite talent and is excited to see how he fares against some of Bellator bests.
Yoel Romero currently doesn’t have his Bellator debut booked. He will compete at light heavyweight and is looking to snap his three-fight losing skid when he does.