Yoel Romero vs. Anthony Johnson Set for Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 10, 2021

Robert Whittaker, right, and Yoel Romero fight during their middleweight Title bout at the UFC 225 Mixed Martial Arts event Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young)
Jim Young/Associated Press

Bellator has announced it will hold an eight-man Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix, with a quarterfinal matchup between Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson serving as the highlight (h/t Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting):

Scott Coker @ScottCoker

This is happening. https://t.co/nlyoGqc4Ce

Romero, 43, is 13-5 as a professional mixed martial artist. He won 12 of his first 13 fights and earned a shot at the interim UFC Middleweight Championship but lost to Robert Whittaker.

Romero then won a matchup with Luke Rockhold for the interim middleweight title but was ineligible for the belt after missing weight. He then fought Whittaker again for the interim middleweight title and missed weight again, losing this time.

A pair of unanimous-decision defeats to Paulo Costa and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, the latter of which was for the middleweight belt, capped his UFC career.

He went 33-11 during his freestyle wrestling career, winning gold at the 1999 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Summer Olympics, among other accolades.

Romero signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator in December.

Johnson has gone 22-6 during his MMA career, fighting for the UFC light heavyweight title twice against Daniel Cormier. He lost via rear-naked choke both times.

The 36-year-old, nicknamed "Rumble," enjoyed a successful stretch that included 12 wins in 13 fights over four-plus year stretch. He's won 16 of his 22 fights via knockout.

Like Romero, Johnson signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator in December.

Showtime will be the home for the tournament, which will begin April 9. Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida and Corey Anderson vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov will be the quarterfinal matchups taking place on that date. Romero vs. Johnson will occur on April 16 alongside current Bellator light heavyweight title holder Vadim Nemkov vs. Phil Davis.

The semifinals will occur in July, and the final is set for October.