Bellator 266: Phil Davis vs Yoel Romero preview and prediction
The Bellator 266 Main Event features an intriguing light heavyweight showdown between two of the greatest fighters in all of MMA: Yoel Romero and Phil Davis. But, fans may want to look forward to a more active punching battle than anticipated on paper, as both fighters have developed their standup over the years.
Davis is looking to get back to the nitty-gritty in Bellator’s light heavyweight title image, after falling to Vadim Nemkov in the Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix. Just five months after the crushing loss, Davis is back in the cage to welcome Bellator newcomer Romero to the division.
Romero makes the move to 205 pounds after being a mainstay in the UFC’s middleweight division, fighting for the interim belt twice and the middleweight championship twice. He is looking to get back on track with a win over Davis to snap a three-game losing streak.
But, that might be easier said than done against the bigger and longer Davis. At 6’2 “tall, Davis also has a six-inch (79”) reach advantage and more light heavyweight experience. Romero has not fought at light heavyweight since he competed at Strikeforce in 2011 and gained weight after a series of brutal weight cuts.
In Romero’s most recent loss to Israel Adesanya last year, he opened up a bit tentative before exploding late in the fight in rounds 4 and 5. Even during his signature attacks on his feet, he was unable to land significant punches as Adesanya eliminated Romero’s attack.
It’s a massive fight for both fighters, in a potential No. 1 contender that could face the ongoing light heavyweight Grand Prix victory.
Who will win at Bellator 266: Phil Davis or Yoel Romero?
Despite their physical differences, both fighters have a similar style in the cage. Both Davis and Romero are accomplished fighters, with Romero being a former Olympic silver medalist and Davis winning an NCAA wrestling title at Penn State.
The difference in this fight could be in the flashy exchanges. Davis will look to use his leg kicks that have knocked out opponents in the past, to control range and avoid Romero’s explosions. If Romero wants to start his tenure at Bellator on a positive note, he will have to work on the inside and try to control the fight from the clinch.
Another aspect of the fight to watch out for will be Romero’s gas tank. He has had a history of slowing down as the fight progresses and going into a fight 20 pounds heavier could be a factor. Davis has competed virtually his entire MMA career at light heavyweight.
Fans never know what they will get out of a Romero fight. Whether or not he will look to push the pace remains to be seen, but Davis has all the tools to dominate Romero and walk away with a dominant victory.
Romero is more than likely looking to get off to a quick start, but Davis will control the fight after the first few minutes using his range and fight.