Bellator 266: Phil Davis vs Yoel Romero preview and prediction
The Bellator 266 Main Event features a mesmerizing light heavyweight showdown between two of the greatest fighters in all of MMA: Yoel Romero and Phil Davis. Fans may want to look forward to a more active slap fight than expected on paper, however, as both fighters have developed their standups over the years.
Davis tries to get back to basics in Bellator’s light heavyweight cover photo after falling against Vadim Nemkov in the Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix. Just five months after the devastating loss, Davis is back in the cage to welcome Bellator newcomer Romero to the division.
Romero moves to 205 pounds after being a mainstay in the UFC middleweight division, battling twice for the interim belt and twice for the middleweight championship. He wants to get back on track with a win over Davis for a three-game losing streak.
But that is perhaps easier said than done against the bigger and longer Davis. At 6’2 “tall, Davis also has an advantage in 6” (79 “) reaches and more lightweight experience. Romero has not fought light heavyweight since competing at Strikeforce in 2011 and gained weight after a series of brutal weight reductions.
In Romero’s most recent loss to Israel Adesanya last year, he opened up a little tentatively before exploding in Rounds 4 and 5 towards the end of the fight.
It’s a massive fight for both fighters, in a potential No. 1 contender who could face the ongoing light-heavyweight victory of the Grand Prix.
Who will win at Bellator 266: Phil Davis or Yoel Romero?
Despite their physical differences, both fighters share a similar style in the cage. Both Davis and Romero are accomplished wrestlers, with Romero being a former Olympic silver medalist and Davis winning an NCAA wrestling title at Penn State.
The difference in this fight might be in the noticeable exchanges. Davis will attempt to use his kicks, which have historically cleared enemies out of the way, to control range and avoid Romero’s explosions. If Romero is to start his tenure as Bellator on a positive note, he’ll have to work inside, trying to control the fight from the clinch.
Another aspect of the fight to watch out for will be Romero’s gas tank. He has a history of slowing down as the fight progressed and it could be a factor in going into a fight that is 20 pounds heavier. Davis has spent practically his entire MMA light heavyweight career.
Fans never know what they will get out of a Romero fight. Whether or not he will try to pick up the pace remains to be seen, but Davis has all the tools to dominate Romero and get away with a dominant win.
Romero is most likely looking for a quick start, but Davis will control the fight with his range and fight after the first few minutes.