Melvin Manhoef Out, Yoel Romero Now Faces Alex Polizzi at Bellator 280

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Yoel Romero Bellator MMA
Yoel Romero, Bellator 266 Credit: Bellator MMA

With Melvin Manhoef sustaining a hand injury after subduing a trio of burglars near his home, Yoel Romero has a new opponent lined up for Bellator 280 next week.

Romero (13-6) will now face Alex Polizzi (10-1) at the event in Paris, France on May 6. Dutch outlet Telesport was first to report the news.

Cageside Press confirmed the booking Saturday with multiple sources familiar with the situation. The bout will serve as the co-main event at the AccorHotels Arena, where Bellator debuted in 2020.

Manhoef made headlines earlier this month when he spotted and chased down a trio of burglars scouting his home. Unfortunately, it appears he did not come away unscathed — though the crooks, at least, were taken into custody.

Having lost his promotional debut against Phil Davis, Yoel Romero now looks to rebound and snap a four-fight skid dating back to 2018. In that stretch, Romero has come up short in fights with Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, Israel Adesanya, and then Davis. As with his debut, Romero’s Bellator 280 fight will come in the light heavyweight division.

Polizzi will be getting the toughest test of his young career in the match-up. He’s won three straight since his lone loss to Julius Anglickas in November of 2020. Just last month, “Easy” Polizzi submitted Jose Augusto Azevedo.

The Bellator 280 card is topped by a heavyweight title fight, as Ryan Bader runs it back with France’s own Cheick Kongo. With the addition of Polizzi to the Romero fight, the card now breaks down as follows:

  • Ryan Bader (c) vs. Cheick Kongo – for the Bellator MMA heavyweight championship
  • Yoel Romero vs. Alex Polizzi
  • Søren Bak vs. Charlie Leary
  • Lorenz Larkin vs. Kyle Stewart
  • Mike Shipman vs. Gregory Babene
  • Pedro Carvalho vs. Piotr Niedzielski
  • Lewis Long vs. Thibault Gouti
  • Fabacary Diatta vs. Jordan Barton
  • Davy Gallon vs. Benjamin Brander
  • Yves Landu vs. Gavin Hughes
  • Nicolò Solli vs. Joël Kouadja
  • Lucie Bertaud vs. Katarzyna Sadura
  • Youcef Ouabbas vs. Matthieu Duclos
  • Victor Verchere vs. Bourama Camara

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