Removed from the Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix ahead of a mouth-watering showdown against fellow former UFC title challenger Anthony Johnson, Yoel Romero has speculatively earmarked his potential Bellator organizational bow for August of this year, and still appears to be juggling the possibility of featuring at his long-time middleweight home.
The Cuban was booked to feature against fellow promotional newcomer, Johnson for a quarter final bracket of the light heavyweight Grand Prix, however, prior to the Bellator 258 showcase, Romero was removed from the pairing after he failed pre-fight medical checks due to an eye issue.
Johnson would go on to rally from a first round knockdown to stop short-notice replacement, Jose Augusto with a massive second round knockout. Prior to the matchup of Johnson and Augusto however, the promotion revealed that they still planned to pair Romero with the former two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger in the future. Off the back of Johnson’s win, he earned a semi final bracket showcase against current 205lbs kingpin, Vadim Nemkov.
Whilst the Pinar del Rio native has yet to score a return to active competition for the first time since March of last year, he’s speculated that he could return as soon as August, citing the possibility he could debut as originally scheduled at light heavyweight, or continue to compete at the middleweight limit.
“The fans can see me very, very soon,” Romero said during a recent interview with The Schmo. “Maybe August, 205lbs or maybe 185lbs. I want to fight for the belt in both classes. But I’m coming soon. I’m coming soon. I want to kill somebody.” (H/T BJPENN.com)
Romero’s mention of a possible stay at middleweight before a light heavyweight return even occurs comes off the back of claims from Bellator leader, Scott Coker suggesting a potential title clash between current gold holder, Gegard Mousasi, and Romero in the not too distant future.
“We have a couple of really good fights for Gegard (Mousasi) ahead of him,” Coker said during an interview with MMA Junkie reporter, Nolan King. “There are a lot of people who want to fight Gegard, so we have a lot of fights for him lined up. One of those guys is, you know, (Yoel) Romero. He’s a guy that might want to move back down to 185 (lbs). We’re talking to his management, and maybe he can get a fight or two. Then, he also wants to fight for the title. That 185lbs weight class, once we get going on the series here, will have a lot of competition.“
Out of action since UFC 248 last year, Romero suffered a forgettable unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya, marking the Cuban’s third consecutive loss.
The Olympic silver medalist has scored notable career wins over the likes of Ronny Markes, Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza, Chris Weidman, and Luke Rockhold.