Former UFC middleweight title challenger, Yoel Romero has been forced out of his May 7th. promotional debut against former UFC light heavyweight championship challenger, Anthony Johnson, as well as the entire light heavyweight grand prix tournament after he failed to clear the pre-fight medical screening provided by the promotion.
Romero, who penned a multi-fight deal with the Scott Coker-led organization back in December, ended his eight-year stay with the UFC, following a forgettable unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya in March at UFC 248 in a middleweight title challenge.
The Olympic silver medalist was scheduled to meet with recent UFC 261 feature, Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 7 in August, until he was removed from the fight with reasons undisclosed. News of Romero’s removal from his fight with Johnson and the entire grand prix format was first reported by CBS Sports reporter, Brian Campbell.
The promotion also officially released a statement regarding Romero’s removal, detailing how they still hope to pen the Cuban veteran against Johnson sometime in the future, and that they would schedule Johnson against a tournament alternate.
“Yoel Romero did not clear pre-fight medical testing and as a result, his BELLATOR MMA debut against Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson has been postponed,” the statement read.”BELLATOR will confirm a tournament alternate to face ‘Rumble’ Johnson in the light heavyweight world grand prix as soon as possible.“
“BELLATOR 258: Archuleta vs. Pettis will go on as scheduled on Friday, May 7, live on SHOWTIME at 9p ET/6p PT. The event features the BELLATOR bantamweight world championship main event between champion Juan Archuleta and Sergio Pettis, a welterweight bout pitting Michael ‘Venom’ Page against Derek Anderson, and a lightweight tilt between Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire and Peter Queally. Additional fights for the main card are to be announced.“
“Romero will become eligible to reapply for clearance to compete in the coming months, and we look forward to seeing him making his BELLATOR debut in the near future. BELLATOR MMA will look to reschedule the highly-anticipated Johnson versus Romero matchup at a future date.“
Suffering defeats in his last three straight professional outings, Romero dropped the title challenge to Adesanya, after a pair of close, somewhat disputed decision blemishes against both Paulo Costa and former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker.
Romero’s last win came at UFC 221 in February 2018 where he scored a brutal third round knockout win over former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight titleholder, Luke Rockhold, however, he was ineligible to lift the interim middleweight championship after he tipped the scales at 187.7lbs.