Anthony Johnson vs Yoel Romero: When are the two ex-UFC stars facing off in Bellator Grand Prix?

Ex-UFC stars Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero will face off in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix at Bellator 257 on April 16th, 2021.

Bellator MMA has now confirmed the matchup via their official Instagram account.

Anthony Johnson’s last MMA fight was a second-round submission loss against Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in April 2017. The fight was Johnson’s second shot at the UFC light heavyweight title. Following his loss to Cormier, Johnson announced his retirement from the sport of MMA.

Regardless, given his exciting fighting style and thunderous KO power, a large majority of fans urged Anthony Johnson to return to the sport. Johnson eventually made up his mind and chose to return to MMA. Discussions between Rumble and the UFC made headlines in 2019, but his return to the organization didn’t come to fruition.

In December 2020, Anthony Johnson and the UFC officially parted ways, and it was revealed that Johnson had signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.

Meanwhile, Yoel Romero has challenged for the interim UFC middleweight title and the UFC middleweight title twice each in his long and storied combat sports career.

On all four occasions, Romero was unable to win UFC gold. However, he’s still widely revered as one of the scariest and most athletic martial artists to ever compete in MMA.

Yoel Romero’s most recent MMA fight was a unanimous decision loss against Israel Adesanya at UFC 248 in March 2020. The Soldier of God was released from the UFC later in December 2020.

Romero then signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA. Additionally, it was revealed that Romero would be moving up a weight class and compete in the Bellator light heavyweight division.

UFC Anthony Johnson, Yoel Romero, and other top-tier fighters will compete in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament

Anthony Johnson (left); Yoel Romero (right)
Anthony Johnson (left); Yoel Romero (right)

Bellator MMA has confirmed the tournament brackets for its upcoming Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. Eight light heavyweight fighters will compete in the tournament, the winner of which will be the Bellator light heavyweight champion.

Current Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov will also be participating in the tournament.

The tournament’s quarterfinal round will take place over the course of two events – Bellator 256 (April 9th, 2021) and Bellator 257 (April 16th, 2021).

Bellator 256 will feature the first two quarterfinals – Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida and Corey Anderson vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov.

Furthermore, Bellator 257 will feature the second half of the quarterfinal round – Vadim Nemkov vs. Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson vs. Yoel Romero.

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