By Mike Bohn |
April 28, 2021 6: 00 pm
Romero (13-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Johnson (22-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) are closing in on their quarterfinal pairing in the Bellator gentle heavyweight grand prix, which takes plot Would possibly possibly also 7 at Mohegan Solar Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
When Bellator turned into once putting together the match, it turned into once expected the 2 novel signees might possibly possibly well possibly be making their debut as half of the sphere. There turned into once an dart to glimpse them paired up instantly, and Bellator obliged.
Pointless to deliver, both men are pumped, and Romero thinks it’s a defining bout for his profession.
“It’s a extremely special time,” Romero said during Wednesday’s Bellator 258 virtual press conference. “To be in this grand prix is terribly correct for me. That is an incredible matchup. ‘Rumble’ Johnson is an amazing fighter. After I take into tale ‘Rumble’ Johnson, I take into tale in this division as the tip guy. There are many correct athletes in this division: Jonny (Jones), ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier), Tito Ortiz. You must position his name in this checklist.”
Romero will seemingly be moving to 205 kilos for the main time since September 2011. After prolonged competing as a middleweight, he said the additional 20 kilos has him happier and additional healthy as battle evening draws shut to, and he expects to have a extra engaging performance when he steps in the cage.
When he does step in, this would possibly well just additionally be a scene no person might possibly possibly well’ve anticipated years ago. It’s pure delusion matchmaking, but when Romero parted ways with the UFC and Johnson did the the same after coming out of retirement, the celebrities aligned.
Such an unexpected battle between two athletic and devastating knockout artists has generated a extensive range of pleasure, and Johnson said it’s palpable.
“I will feel it, man,” Johnson said. “It’s definitely obtainable. My (social media) is blowing up. The joys is definitely obtainable. I don’t know who’s extra indignant, me or the fans. Neutral correct to have a grand battle in a grand organization with a grand opponent, this feels admire a dream attain correct.”
Johnson and Romero have both stood at some point of from a pair of of doubtlessly the most lethal and adorned fighters in the game’s ancient previous. Multi-division UFC champions, future UFC Corridor of Famers and additional are fashioned on their respective resumes.
They both agree right here’s as unpredictable a battle as they’ve ever been involved with, despite the indisputable truth that, and Johnson in particular knows he can’t take into tale previous this battle for even a 2d, despite knowing a title shot against champion Vadim Nemkov awaits the winner in the semifinal spherical.
“I obtained my palms corpulent,” Johnson said. “I give Yoel that title: Yoel is possibly the most lethal fighter I’ve no doubt faced.”