Multiple-time UFC middleweight title challenger, Yoel ‘Soldier of God’ Romero has reportedly obtained medical clearance to compete once more — after an eye issue noted in pre-fight medical screenings prevented the veteran from competing opposite incoming light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Johnson in the opening round of the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.
Romero, who penned a multi-fight deal to link up with the Scott Coker-led promotion, was removed from a slated Bellator 258 bracket bout with Johnson, however, pre-fight medical screenings failed to grant Romero clearance to compete, thus removing him from the clash the month prior. Johnson would go on to stop Jose Augusto with a rallying second round knockout and is now set to meet with Vadim Nemkov for the Bellator light heavyweight title in October.
In a press release, Bellator officials confirmed that Romero had been pulled from his bout with Johnson, however, the organization made it clear that they intend to rebook a match between the Pinar del Rio native and the latter in the future.
According to a report tonight from MMA Junkie reporter, Nolan King per the aforenoted, Coker, Romero has since been medically cleared to fight once again — with the promotion targeting a promotional bow for the Olympic silver medalist before the turn of this year.
“I think he (Yoel Romero) is cleared now, so I think we’ll be looking to book him and have him fight before the end of the year,” Coker said. “I think he’s good to go on all cylinders moving forward. Give us another week or two and we’ll figure it out and put him on a card somewhere.“
Coker went on to confirm that Romero, a longtime middleweight, for the majority of his career, in fact, is still expected to test light heavyweight waters as was initially planned for his debut — but is still willing to cut to 185lbs going forward.
“Yes, he’s (Romero) going to compete at 205(lbs),” Coker explained. “I think he said he’s willing to cut, but right now, he’s at 205.“
According to the report from MMA Junkie, whilst yet to score an opponent, Romero’s promotional debut could land as soon as next month.
A revered knockout artist, Romero’s last professional outing came back in March of last year where he competed for undisputed middleweight gold under the UFC banner in a forgettable unanimous decision defeat to current champion, Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 248.
Boasting a 13-5 professional résumé from 18 professional fights, the 44-year-old has notched notable career wins over the likes of Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, the recently retired, Jacare Souza, as well as former middleweight champions, Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold — both with devastating knockout stoppages.