Here’s Why Bellator and Scott Coker Passed on Signing Yoel Romero

The Bellator President explained the direction that the company is heading in and that it doesn't include the likes of Yoel Romero.

Image of Scott Coker and Yoel Romero via Twitter
Image of Scott Coker and Yoel Romero via Twitter

UFC veteran and long time contender Yoel Romero was recently released from his UFC contract. Yoel was the first of at least 60 fighters who will be cut from the UFC due to an inflated roster. After the announcement, fans wondered about the next potential landing spots for the Cuban. To their surprise, both Bellator and the PFL passed on signing the 43-year-old. Now, Bellator President Scott Coker has explained the reason why the promotion isn’t eager to sign Romero. 

Roster Cuts

UFC President Dana White was clear about the UFC’s plans before the year is out. Over 60 fighters will be cut from the roster before January. This could be due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic that seriously hurt that promotion’s revenue. 

When the UFC released Anderson Silva, Bellator President Scott Coker made it clear that they wouldn’t rush to sign him either. This is due to the company’s new business model which focuses on building younger talent, rather than catching the tail end of a legend’s career.

Coker on Why Bellator Doesn’t Want Romero

In a recent interview, Coker spoke about Romero and the direction that Bellator is heading. 

“We got a call from (his) agent, and originally we just passed,” Coker said. “If you look at our roster and how many fighters we have on this roster and how many fights we’re going to do, there are only so many TV slots. We have kind of gotten away from signing the OGs we used to sign back in the day. That’s because guys like A.J. (McKee) are coming up. Ilima-Lei (Macfarlane) is developing into a main event fighter.

“We’ve basically built from the bottom up. We have a lot of great fighters that are on the roster that we’ve built over the last four to five years. We were kind of headed in a different direction. I was happy with the way the roster is right now not adding anybody.”

Landing Spots for Yoel

Unfortunately, this leaves just a few landing spots for Romero now that the big 3 have said no. If both Bellator and the PFL aren’t interested in Yoel, it mainly leaves open promotions in Asia such as RIZIN and ONE Championship. 

However, Yoel Romero going to Combate Americas would make sense, as the promotion caters toward a Hispanic audience. Plus, the promotion is interested in making a fight with Romero against Tito Ortiz at 205lbs. 

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