After failing to clear medicals due to an eye injury ahead of his expected Bellator debut, Yoel Romero is once again set to step into the cage. Romero will face Phil Davis at Bellator 266 on Sept. 18 in both Romero’s Bellator debut and his first fight at light heavyweight since 2011. The event will take place in San Jose, California.
Romero was originally supposed to face Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in the first round of the Bellator World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. But Romero was not cleared by doctors to compete, leaving Johnson to face Jose Augusto as the Grand Prix marched on.
Davis was bounced from the Grand Prix after losing to light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov in the first round. Davis moved from the UFC to Bellator in 2015, making a big splash by winning that year’s Grand Prix and later the promotion’s light heavyweight title from Liam McGeary before dropping the belt to Ryan Bader in his next outing. Davis has gone on a 5-2 run since losing the belt.
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Romero exited the UFC after a 1-4 run in his five final bouts in the Octagon. Four of those bouts were for either the interim or full middleweight championship, though Romero was ineligible to win the belt in two of those fight after missing weight. Those weight struggles played a big part in Romero’s decision to move back to 205 pounds after a decade at middleweight.
In addition to Romero vs. Davis, Bellator officials confirmed a main card flyweight bout between Alejandra Lara and DeAnna Bennett. On the prelims, Adam Picolotti and Saul Rogers meet at featherweight and Grant Neal takes on Alex Polizzi at light heavyweight.