Phil Davis spoils Yoel Romero's Bellator debut in split-decision win

Yoel Romero looked confused and waved his fingers like Dikembe Mumbombo. Bellator announcer Michael C. Williams was reading out the results of Bellator 266's main event. One of the judges believed that Romero had won the bout.
Romero disagreed with the judge and pointed to Phil Davis, his opponent, and gave him a fist bump. Romero proved correct, even if he was not the victor.

Romero was defeated by Davis in a split decision (30-27. 28-29. 30-26). This occurred at Bellator 266 San Jose, California. It thrown some cold water on Romero’s eagerly awaited Bellator debut. Davis defeated Romero on the feet, and then used his wrestling skills to win the third and final round.

Davis stated, "He's an evil monster." "I felt that power more often than I wish I had tonight."

Right, Phil Davis scored his fourth victory in five fights, and is now at 10-3 in his Bellator career. Lucas Noonan / BELLATOR MMA

Although the split decision was not as clear, the fight was close in the first two rounds. While the first round was inactive, Davis landed slightly more strikes. Romero was able to land some tough combinations in the second round, as well as a calf kick which buckled Davis briefly. However, Davis may have seized the opportunity with a one two combination that briefly threw Romero off balance. This was followed by a body punch.

Davis, a former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion at Penn State went to Romero in the third round. This was a risk considering Romero is an Olympic silver medalist. Davis defeated Romero four times during the round, effectively ending any chance Romero had of rallying.

In his postfight interview, Davis spoke about his personal life, saying that he learned in 2020 that his parents had been diagnosed with cancer.

Davis stated, "I love you guys and I can't do this without you."

Davis (23-6-1 NC) has won four out of five of his previous fights. In April, he lost to Vadim Nemkov, Bellator's light heavyweight champion. Davis, 36, is a former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion and winner of the light heavyweight Grand Prix. After a stint as a top UFC contender, he is now 10-3 in Bellator.

Romero (13-5), had not fought since his defeat to Israel Adesanya, UFC middleweight champion fight at UFC 248 (March 2020). Romero signed with Bellator in December 2020 after he left the UFC. Cuban native Romero, who fought out of Florida, was originally scheduled to participate in the Bellator lightweight tournament, but he couldn't pass his medicals earlier in the year. Romero (44), has only one win from six fights. However, he has fought in elite competition.