Yoel Romero has found a home.
The former UFC title challenger was shockingly released a little over a week ago and immediately many wanted to see him in Bellator. However, Bellator and PFL said they weren’t interested but something changed.
“We got a call from (his) agent, and originally we just passed,” Coker said to MMAJunkie. “If you look at our roster and how many fighters we have on this roster and how many fights we’re going to do, there are only so many TV slots. We have kind of gotten away from signing the OGs we used to sign back in the day. That’s because guys like A.J. (McKee) are coming up. Ilima-Lei (Macfarlane) is developing into a main event fighter.
“We’ve basically built from the bottom up. We have a lot of great fighters that are on the roster that we’ve built over the last four to five years. We were kind of headed in a different direction. I was happy with the way the roster is right now not adding anybody.”
Now, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Romero signed with the promotion on Monday and is expected to debut at light heavyweight.
Yoel Romero has not fought since he suffered a decision loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 248 for the middleweight title. Before the loss to Adesanya, Romero suffered back-to-back controversial decision losses to Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker.
The 43-year-old Cuban is just 1-4 in his last five but has been fighting the elite of the middleweight division. He was expected to fight Uriah Hall in August but pulled out. Then, rumors started swirling that Romero was getting hard to deal with so the promotion released him.
Regardless, this is a great signing for Bellator and Romero immediately strengthens their light heavyweight division.