Yoel Romero makes Bellator return in May against Melvin Manhoef

By Josh Evanoff - February 10, 2022

Yoel Romero has a name and a date for his return to the Bellator cage.

Yoel Romero, Bellator 266

The ‘Soldier of God’ signed to the promotion in December 2020 to much fanfare. Romero was a staple of the UFC’s middleweight promotion for nearly a decade. Along the way, he fought in four titles bouts, most recently against Israel Adesanya at UFC 248.

However, Romero came up short in his first Bellator assignment in September 2021. He now has his second opponent set for the promotion, as he’ll be facing off against light-heavyweight contender Melvin Manhoef.

The fight will be the co-main event of Bellator France on May 6th. The main event will be Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader taking on top contender Cheick Kongo in a rematch. Their first outing was ruled a no-contest following an eye poke at Bellator 226 in September 2019.


The Cuban has to be hoping his sophomore outing in the Bellator cage is better than his first. His first bout saw him dominated by Phil Davis at Bellator 266, losing via unanimous decision. To top it off, ‘Soldier of God’ came under fire post-fight for not knowing the fight was only three rounds.

Melvin Manhoef also has to be hoping to get back into the win column. The Dutch fighter has been a fan-favorite of the promotion since 2014 and has competed for championships on two occasions.

However, his last outing in the cage wasn’t pretty either. He faced Corey Anderson at Bellator 251 in November 2020, and it didn’t go well. ‘No Mercy’ was taken down repeatedly and finished in the second round via TKO.

Now, both men get a clean slate in May. Along with getting a victory, one has to expect the winner to be back in the title conversation at 205 pounds.

Who do you have in this light heavyweight firefight? Yoel Romero or Melvin Manhoef?


Bellator Melvin Manhoef Yoel Romero