Yoel Romero was defeated in his light heavyweight and Bellator Debut against Phil Davis in the Main Event of Bellator 266 this past Weekend but President Scott Cooker was still able to see positives in his performance and voiced out his support for the Cuban.
Romero (13-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) was able to stage a competitive performance in the first two rounds but the final round saw him taken down to the canvas and controlled till the end of the fight.
Coker praised Davis for grinding out the victory but voiced his support for Romero, who at 44 years was still able to stage a competitive performance at the SAP Center, San Jose California on Saturday night.
“I think that Phil is an amazing fighter, as we all know, and he just delivered another solid performance,” Coker said at a post-fight news conference. “He fought smart. Yoel is still dangerous. If he hits you, it’s over. I think Phil probably felt that power early on, so he tried to stick and move a little bit. He took him down a couple times. I loved the fight. I thought that it was a great fight. I’m telling you, Yoel will be back. This is, to me, his comeback fight. It’s been how long since he fought? We give him another fight, and he’ll be really, really ready for the next one.
“… Anybody that can do what he does. Again, give this guy another camp and another big fight, I think he’s going to come in and start throwing bombs on people. He’s a dangerous individual. You guys saw it. One punch, and it’s going to be over. He’s that guy.”
Romero was fighting at light heavyweight for the first time in 10 years. He most recently fought at Middleweight, in what happens to be his last fight under the UFC Banner.
Coker loves what Romero brings to the table at Lightweight but will also welcome a move by the Cuban back down to middleweight.
“I’m going to talk to him, because I’d love for him to maybe fight and maybe stay at 205,” Coker said. “Gegard (Mousasi) is going to be busy beginning of next year fighting Austin (Vanderford). If that division opens up, and he wants to go down and fight the winner of that fight, we’d love to do that, too. We have a lot of exciting options for Romero, and I’m excited to put them all together.”
Romero expressed his surprise that the fight ended a three round fight as he has been competing in five rounds for some time now and didn’t expects a Main Event if that magnitude to be three rounds. Coker had a few things to say about that and seems pretty sure a decision to change that will be a permanent one.
“We just didn’t want to make a change,” Coker said. “I think maybe at some point we’ll see it. I just know that once we make that decision, it’s not going to go back. I heard that was something that was in his mind, too. I can’t blame him. He’s been fighting five rounds a lot in his career. This was a three-round fight, and maybe next time he’ll be in a five-round fight.”
Phil Davis ended victorious with a split decision over Yoel Romero on Saturday night. Live on ShowTime