Former UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero finally made his Bellator debut on Saturday night in San Jose, Calif. Unfortunately for him, when the Bellator 266 results were tallied, he was on the losing end of a controversial decision to Phil Davis in their light heavyweight main event.
The decision was really only controversial because one of the three judges awarded Romero a 29-28 score. The other two saw Davis winning the bout 30-27.
Romero did next to nothing for the better part of the first two rounds other than head hunt. He swung big a few times with punches that looked like they could do damage, but rarely connected.
Davis stayed busy, sticking his jab and working leg kicks that set up a solid double-leg takedown late in the second round.
Romero’s head movement and approach seemed better as round three got underway, but Davis easily took him down several times, working knees into his ground and pound attack.
Romero eventually escaped to his feet with two minutes left to try and salvage the fight, but Davis again planted him on his back. Davis lobbed huge punches to the ribs. Romero again regained his feet, but was just as quickly dragged back to the canvas.
Davis spent much of the final minute driving brutal knees into Romero’s ribs. Romero got to his feet to finish the fight standing, but produced no offense, as Davis kept landing punches and knees until the bell.
Though the judges were split, Davis put on a solid performance that should put him back on track toward another Bellator light heavyweight title shot.
Romero is going to have to dig deep to try and find the spark that at one time made him one of the most feared competitors in the UFC middleweight division. He left the Octagon having lost four of his final five fights. With the loss to Davis, he has now lost five out of his last six bouts and the last four in a row.
Bellator 266 Results
Bellator 266 main card
- Light Heavyweight: Phil Davis def. Yoel Romero by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
- Welterweight: Neiman Gracie def. Mark Lemminger by TKO (elbows and punches) at 1:27, R1
- Catchweight (129.2 lbs): DeAnna Bennett def. Alejandra Lara by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–26, 30–26)
- Lightweight: Saul Rogers def. Georgi Karakhanyan by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–26, 30–26)
- Light Heavyweight: Ben Parrish def. Christian Edwards by KO (punches) at 0:38, R1
Bellator 266 preliminary card
- Light Heavyweight: Alex Polizzi def. Grant Neal by split decision (29–28, 28–29, 29–28)
- Middleweight: Anthony Adams def. Khalid Murtazaliev by unanimous decision(29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
- Bantamweight: Bobby Seronio III def. Socrates Hernandez by unanimous decision (29–27, 29–26, 29–26)
- Catchweight (175 lbs): Abraham Vaesau def. Albert Gonzales by KO (punches) at 2:17, R1
- Welterweight: Shane Keefe def. Rhalan Gracie by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
- Flyweight: Edwin De Los Santos def. Jon Adams by TKO (body kick and punches) at 3:29, R1
- Catchweight (130 lbs): Jesse Delgado def. Joshua Dillon by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)
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