Bellator MMA in 2022: Anthony Johnson vs. Yoel Romero amongst three largest fights to make within the new 12 months


Bellator entered a brand new period in 2021. The promotion moved its broadcast to Showtime, hosted big-name debuts like Yoel Romero and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, and topped younger champions in A.J. McKee and Sergio Pettis. Heading into the brand new 12 months, Bellator is primed to ship marquee fights that would seize a wider MMA viewers.

Scott Coker and firm have the prospect to serve up some juicy fights in 2022. An excellent-fight between their dominant champion and the game’s largest free agent, a fan-friendly conflict of huge hosses, and the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix are all inside attain. CBS Sports activities has pieced collectively a trio of must-see Bellator match-ups. Be aware: these are all pairings that aren’t at the moment or anticipated to be booked imminently.

Have a look beneath at three fights Bellator must make in 2022.

1. Cris Cyborg vs. Kayla Harrison

There aren’t any supremely compelling title challengers for Bellator ladies’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. A battle with fellow UFC veteran Cat Zingano might be the very best match-up to make from Bellator’s current roster, however nothing comes near a super-fight with two-time PFL ladies’s light-weight champion Kayla Harrison. All indicators pointed to Harrison signing with UFC for a battle with UFC ladies’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. Whereas that battle remains to be believable, it has misplaced a ton of luster following Nunes’ failed UFC bantamweight title protection in opposition to Julianna Pena at UFC 269. Cyborg vs. Harrison is a extra incremental step up in competitors for the Olympic gold medalist on the street to an eventual conflict with Nunes. Bellator additionally has a observe report of cross-promoting with Rizin, so suggesting a crossover with PFL is affordable. Cyborg vs. Harrison is arguably the very best battle to make for each ladies at this juncture of their careers.

2. Anthony Johnson vs. Yoel Romero

Bellator was proper to e book Johnson vs. Romero within the opening spherical of its Bellator Gentle Heavyweight Grand Prix. Sadly, Romero was not medically cleared and “Rumble” went on to defeat José Augusto. Romero misplaced a unanimous choice to Phil Davis in a non-tournament bout, and Johnson was compelled out of the Grand Prix with an unspecified sickness. That leaves the door huge open for Bellator to e book Johnson vs. Romero in 2022. The battle could not have the identical degree of fan demand it did upon the announcement of every man’s signing. Nonetheless, the bout’s main promoting level was by no means about MMA at its highest degree. Johnson vs. Romero is a collision at Mach pace. Two nuclear warheads assembly head-on. A series response of violence that Bellator must set off in 2022.

3. Sergio Pettis vs. Kyoji Horiguchi 2

Pettis efficiently defended his Bellator bantamweight championship in opposition to Horiguchi at Bellator 272, however there may be nonetheless a sense that Horiguchi is the very best bantamweight exterior of the UFC. Pettis was clearly dropping the battle earlier than hitting the reset button with a spinning backfist knockout that was named CBS Sports activities’ Bellator Knockout of the 12 months. The promotion is gearing up for the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix in 2022, which boasts three title matches and a $1 million grand prize. Pettis and Horiguchi are each scheduled for the event together with Magomed Magomedov, James Gallagher, Leandro Higo, Patchy Combine, Raufeon Stots and Juan Archuleta. The simple possibility can be to right away e book the rematch, however let’s put somewhat belief within the course of and actually construct in the direction of the rematch. Bellator ought to put Pettis and Horiguchi at reverse ends of the brackets. Ought to every man survive their respective gauntlet, the stage will probably be set for a big-time rematch with questions left to reply.

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