The opening betting odds have been revealed for a potential light heavyweight bout in Bellator between Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson.
On Monday, Bellator announced that Romero is the latest member of the promotion’s roster. Unlike in the UFC, where Romero competed at 185lbs, he will move back up to 205lbs for his move to Bellator, the same weight class he competed at back in the Strikeforce days. It was in Strikeforce where he worked with current Bellator president Scott Coker, who last week announced he had signed Anthony Johnson to Bellator.
Both Romero and Johnson are massive free-agent signings for Bellator and both men make the promotion’s light heavyweight division that much deeper. Naturally, fans and media have already speculated that Bellator could match Romero up against Johnson in their respective Bellator debuts. With a potential Romero vs. Johnson matchup possibly taking place in 2021, the sportsbooks were quick to get out a betting line.
Take a look at the opening odds for Romero vs. Johnson below (via BestFightOdds).
— BestFightOdds (@BestFightOdds) December 14, 2020
Yoel Romero -175
Anthony Johnson +150
Romero opened as a -175 betting favorite. That means a $175 bet would win $100. Johnson opened as a +150 betting underdog. That means a $100 bet would win $150.
Romero (13-5) last fought at UFC 248 in March, where he lost a unanimous decision in a close fight with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Now 43 years old, Romero has lost three straight fights, but he only lost to elite competition in Adesanya, Paulo Costa, and Robert Whittaker. Still, the UFC decided to let him go, citing his age and a need to cut 60 fighters from the roster, and now Romero will head to Bellator.
Johnson (22-6) has not fought since UFC 210 in April 2017, when he was submitted by former UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Prior to the loss to DC, Johnson had won three straight fights by brutal knockout over Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, and Jimi Manuwa. He is one of the biggest punchers of all time at 205lbs and his addition to the Bellator light heavyweight division makes it that much stronger.
With Romero and Johnson in the fold, they join Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov, the former champ Bader, plus other ex-UFC fighters such as Corey Anderson, Phil Davis, and Lyoto Machida in what is shaping up to be a very solid division, one that Coker recently called the best 205lbs weight class on the planet.
Who is your money on, Yoel Romero or Anthony Johnson?