Yoel Romero has a new opponent for his second Bellator appearance next Saturday.
A promotional official confirmed to MMA Fighting that due to Melvin Manhoef’s withdrawal, Romero will now meet Alex Polizzi in the co-main event of Bellator 280, which takes place May 6 at Accor Arena in Paris. The change was first reported by Redactie Telesport, Manhoef’s scratch is due to lingering injuries after apprehending three alleged burglars at his house in March.
Romero looks to get his first Bellator victory, and first win in over four years. “Soldier of God” enters the bout having dropped four straight decisions — including his last three fights in the UFC to Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Israel Adesanya — with the most recent coming in his promotional debut against Phil Davis in the main event of Bellator 266 this past September.
Polizzi (10-1) can make a statement in the biggest fight of his career, as well as build upon his current three-fight win streak. In his most recent outing, the 30-year-old submitted Jose Augusto in the third round at Bellator 276 in March.
Bellator 280 is headlined by a heavyweight championship rematch between Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo.