Bellator 258: Yoel Romero fails medical, and the grand prix bout vs ‘Rumble’ Johnson is called off.
The highly anticipated Bellator debut of a Cuban fighter has been postponed.
Anthony Johnson’s Bellator light heavyweight grand prix bout with Yoel Romero has been canceled.
The Cuban, a former UFC middleweight championship challenger, made a high-profile transition to Bellator, where he was promptly accepted into the light heavyweight grand prix.
In the quarter-finals of the 205-pound tournament, Romero was set to face the power-punching “Rumble” Johnson, a fellow ex-UFC fighter who had come out of retirement to restart his career with Bellator.
That fight was supposed to take place on Friday, May 7 at Bellator 258, but Romero was yanked off the event late Thursday night.
Bellator confirmed to Express Sport that Romero, 44, failed his standard pre-fight medical screening and was therefore withdrew from the event. Romero was the 1999 former freestyle wrestling world champion and 2000 Olympic silver medalist.
The statement began, “Yoel Romero failed pre-fight medical tests, and as a result, his Bellator MMA debut against Anthony”Rumble” Johnson has been postponed.”
“Bellator will announce a tournament alternate as soon as possible to fight “Rumble” Johnson in the light heavyweight grand prix.
“In the coming months, Romero will be eligible to reapply for clearance to participate, and we anticipate seeing him make his Bellator debut soon.
“Bellator MMA plans to reschedule the highly anticipated Johnson vs. Romero fight at a later date.”
Bellator 258 will go place as planned, with Bellator bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta defending his 135-pound belt in the main event against former UFC flyweight contender Sergio Pettis.
In the night’s co-featured event, Johnson will face a tournament alternative, with a lightweight bout between Patricky Freire of Brazil and Irish contender Peter Queally also on the main bill.
In a welterweight contest, England’s Michael “Venom” Page will face American Derek Anderson on the main program.