Yoel Romero didn’t need much time to find a new promotion after being released by the UFC two weeks ago. The 43-year-old fighter opted to join UFC’s rival Bellator on a multi-fight deal, with the deal becoming official on Tuesday. Bellator confirmed the news on their social media.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Bellator initially passed on the opportunity to bring in Romero, opting to go in another direction. However, the two sides met again in recent days and managed to strike a deal.
Romero’s first opponent under the new promotion is yet to be determined. However, multiple reports suggest that former UFC Light Heavyweight Championship-challenger Anthony Johnson is the most probable pick. Johnson also joined Bellator just recently, signing a deal in early December.
Yoel Romero, who won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Olympics, spent the last seven years with UFC. Although he never managed to get a belt, despite having multiple championship fights, he was still popular among MMA fans due to his attractive style.
Romero has a career 13-5 MMA record while being 9-4 in UFC. He lost four out of his last five fights, with the most loss coming against Israel Adesanya in a fight for UFC Middleweight Championship.