An immediate chance to join the ranks of Bellator MMA’s light heavyweight elite greets Yoel Romero in his long-awaited promotional debut.
The 2000 Olympic silver medalist and longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship contender will toe the line against Phil Davis in the Bellator 266 headliner on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Romero enters the cage on a career-worst three-fight losing streak. The American Top Team mainstay last competed at UFC 248, where he dropped a five-round unanimous decision to Israel Adesanya on March 7, 2020. Davis, meanwhile, has compiled a 9-3 record through 12 appearances in Bellator. The Alliance MMA rep last fought on April 16, when he surrendered a five-round unanimous verdict to Vadim Nemkov in the Bellator 257 main event.
As Romero and Davis barrel toward their high-stakes confrontation in Silicon Valley’s largest city, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
36: Years of age for Davis, who was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 25, 1984.
5: Davis victories by submission, accounting for 23% of his career total (22). His methods of choice: two kimuras, two anaconda chokes and one rear-naked choke. Davis owns six other victories by knockout or technical knockout and 11 more by decision.
6: First-round finishes on the Davis resume. The victims? Josh Green, Terry Cohens, David Baggett, Alexander Gustafsson, Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont.
83: Combined wins between the four men—Nemkov (twice), Bader (twice), Anthony Johnson and Rashad Evans—who have defeated Davis. They boast a cumulative record of 83-22-1 (.783).
232: Days spent by Davis as undisputed Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion. “Mr. Wonderful” held the title from Nov. 4, 2016 to June 24, 2017. Only six other fighters have held the promotion’s 205-pound crown: Nemkov, Bader, Newton, Christian M’Pumbu, Attila Vegh and Liam McGeary.
44: Years of age for Romero, who was born on April 30, 1977 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.
11: Romero wins by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 85% of his career total (13). His list of victims: Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Tim Kennedy, Derek Brunson, Ronny Markes, Clifford Starks, Laszlo Eck, Nikita Petrovs, Michal Fijalka and Sascha Weinpolter. Romero owns two other wins by decision.
1,315: Days since Romero had his hand raised inside the cage. He last posted a victory on Feb. 11, 2018, when he wiped out Rockhold with punches in the third round of their UFC 221 main event.
2: Sub-minute stoppage victories on the Romero ledger. He put away Weinpolter with punches in 48 seconds under the Fight of the Night banner on Dec. 20, 2009 and punched out Eck in 33 seconds inside the same organization on May 27, 2011.
.833: Cumulative winning percentage between the four men—Adesanya, Paulo Costa, Robert Whittaker (twice) and Rafael Cavalcante—who have beaten Romero. They sport a combined record of 70-14.
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