BREAKING: Yoel Romero ruled out of @BellatorMMA
Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix after failing pre-fight medical
— Brian Campbell (@BCampbell)
April 30, 2021
Sometimes these things happen in MMA.
CBS Sports, the broadcast partner of Bellator MMA, announced late Thursday night that the
Bellator 258 grand prix pairing of Yoel Romero
(13-5) vs. Anthony
Johnson (22-6) has been canceled. Romero failed his pre-fight
medical tests, and he has been forced out of the light heavyweight
tournament altogether. It is unclear if Johnson will remain on the
event at this time.
Anglickas was tapped as an alternate to the tournament after
his win over Gregory
Milliard at Bellator 257, the organization has not stated if
Anglickas will be able to compete in a week. Bellator plans on
announcing an additional alternate for this pairing as well. Both
Romero and Johnson were once booked for Bellator 257, but it was
pushed last month for undisclosed reasons. Per the promotion,
Romero will not be eligible to compete for the next three months,
while it does intend on making them square off one day.
“Romero will become eligible to apply for clearance to compete in
three months,” the promotion wrote in a statement obtained by CBS
Sports, “and we look forward to seeing him make his Bellator debut
in the near future. Bellator MMA will look to reschedule the highly
anticipated Johnson versus Romero matchup at a future date.”
Both men were looking to make their promotional debuts at this
event. Romero was to make his return to the light heavyweight
division after beginning his career with five bouts at 205 pounds.
His knockout loss to Rafael
Cavalcante at a 2011 Strikeforce prompted his drop down to middleweight,
where he fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship twice. Two
additional matchups for UFC gold were scuttled for Romero when he
missed weight, in which “Soldier of God” became the first fighter
in company history to miss weight for more than one championship
bout. Romero currently sports a knockout rate of 85 percent,
although he has not recorded a win since 2018.
While Romero last won in 2018, Johnson has not competed since 2017,
where he fell short for the UFC’s light heavyweight title against
Cormier. The bout was a rematch of their 2015 meeting, and
Cormier tapped Johnson in both bouts. Throughout his storied
career, which sees “Rumble” celebrate a 73 percent knockout rate,
Johnson has beaten the likes of Glover
Gustafsson, Ryan Bader
Arlovski in a career that was once at welterweight.
Bellator 258 will still carry on at the Mohegan Sun Arena in
Uncasville, Conn., on May 7, and the headliner remains a
bantamweight title tilt between Juan
Archuleta and Sergio
Pettis. Also serving on the main card is a lightweight clash
Freire against Peter
Queally, while Michael
Page takes on Derek
Anderson at welterweight.