Bookmakers favor Yoel Romero to Beat Phil Davis in Bellator Debut

Phil Davis Vs Yoel Romero Bellator Background

  • Yoel Romero has opened as the slight -150 odds on favorite against Phil Davis (+120).
  • Romero is set to make his Bellator promotional debut this weekend at Bellator 266 at the SAP Arena in San Jose, California.
  • The 44-year old Romero has not fought in 554 days, the longest layoff in his 12-year MMA career.

Yoel Romero has opened as a slight -150 betting favorite for his Bellator Debut against Phil Davis on September 18th at Bellator 266 at the SAP Arena in San Jose, California.

Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Davis, who is given the unenviable task of welcoming the Cuban newcomer to the promotion, was listed at +120 when the betting lines opened on Tuesday at the best MMA betting sites.

Did Not Clear Medical Testing

Romero was supposed to be a -120 betting favorite against fellow former UFC light heavyweight title contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (+100) in what was supposed to be one of the most highly anticipated fights of 2021. However, Romero did not clear pre-medical fight testing and was removed from the Bellator Light Heavyweight tournament while Rumble moved forward in the tournament.

The former Olympic wrestling silver medalist enters his Bellator debut as a betting favorite for only the second time in his last 10 bouts. Romero however, has not been an underdog longer than +245. He was listed as such only during his rematch against Robert Whitaker and in his most recent bout against Israel Adesanya, losing both bouts. He is 6-4 in his last 10 bouts and although he is just 1-4 in his last five bouts, three were world title fights, and the fourth was supposed to be one as well had Romero made weight.

Romero has not won a bout since February 2018 when he knocked out Luke Rockhold as a +160 bottom dog and his current three-bout skid is the longest of his 12 year MMA career. He is also coming off the longest layoff of his career as the 44-year old has not fought since March 7, 2020, or 554 days from his last fight.

Nemkov Outpoints Davis in Rematch

Davis heads to this bout also coming off a loss. The 36-year old suffered a unanimous decision loss against current Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov as a -205 betting underdog in the quarterfinals of the current Bellator Light heavyweight tournament. The defeat was his second to Nemkov who also outpointed him via split decision at Bellator 209.

That recent loss was the only time that Davis has opened and closed as a betting underdog under the Bellator banner. He was a -300 odds on favorite when he dropped his first bout against Nemkov and was also the -130 chalk when lost the Bellator light heavyweight title to Ryan Bader via split decision at Bellator180 in 2017.

Prior to his second loss to Nemkov, Davis had won three straight bouts. He knocked out Liam Geary as the -550 betting favorite, stopped Karl Albrektsson as the -450 chalk, and outpointed former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, as a -420 odds on favorite. Mr. Wonderful is 9-3 under Bellator but is just 4-3 since losing the title to Bader.

Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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