Yoel Romero finally made his much-awaited debut in the main event of Bellator 266. He returned to light-heavyweight and took on Phil Davis. In a match that saw Romero look out of sorts, ‘The Soldier of God’ still went down only due to a split decision. The entire MMA community was left confused by the judges’ decision.
Some claimed that the match should have never happened in the first place, questioning the matchmaking as well. The final scorecard read 30-27, 30-26 and 28-29. The judge who scored 28-29 was Jerin Valel who is believed by many to be one of the worst MMA referees of all time. There was an urgent call for Valel to be removed as a judge.
The loss was Yoel Romero’s 4th straight loss in his MMA career. He is winless since February 2018, and has managed to win just one of his last 6 fights. Here is how Twitter reacted to the Cuban’s Bellator MMA debut.
“I miss this version of Yoel Romero”
MMA experts were particularly not happy with the judges’ decision, especially Jerin Valel. Popular reporter Chamatkar Sandhu wrote, “Man, a totally dominant performance by Phil Davis who defeats Yoel Romero by split decision (split! LOL). This was highly questionable matchmaking by Bellator IMO. Not how I would’ve booked Romero at all.
Damon Martin of MMA Fighting echoed the same as well. He wrote: “Jerin Valel — arguably one of the worst referees in MMA history — scored that fight for Yoel Romero. Seriously, commissions need to stop using him in any capacity.“
What are your thoughts on Romero’s debut? Should the ‘Soldier of God’ continue fighting? And what about judge Jerin Valel’s score?