Yoel Romero couldn’t make the climb to the Bellator 297 pre-fight press conference room ahead of his showdown with Vadim Nemkov this weekend (Fri., June 16, 2023).
Set to challenge the promotion’s reigning Light Heavyweight champion, Nemkov, Romero joined the presser virtually on a television monitor rather than in person today (Weds., June 14, 2023). Bellator held the pre-fight festivities on the 99th floor of the Willis Tower in Chicago, Il., which was simply too far from Earth for the 46-year-old “Soldier of God” to feel comfortable.
“He makes his way to world championships, he makes his way to Bellator MMA, covers the spread from 185 to 205,” Chael Sonnen said at the Bellator 297 pre-fight press conference. “Turns out he’s not scared of much. Can we agree on that? You guys know why he’s not here today? Oh, I hope you guys don’t know. Do you know why Yoel is not with us today? Turns out, he’s scared of heights.
“He wasn’t scared of Nemkov,” he concluded. “He wasn’t scared of the Russian mysterious champion of the world, who he’s gonna be locked in a cage with, but he was scared to come to the press conference when he found out what floor it was on and quite frankly I really don’t blame him, guys. We are up here pretty high, aren’t we?”
“Not even with my kids would I be able to go up on a Ferris Wheel,” Romero said.
Romero’s clash with Nemkov will be his first time challenging for Bellator gold. After losing his promotional debut opposite Phil Davis by a split decision in Sept. 2021, Romero won back-to-back outings against Alex Polizzi and Melvin Manhoef via knockout. If the Cuban Olympic silver medalist wrestler can dethrone Nemkov, he’ll snap the Russian’s 11-fight unbeaten streak, dating back to April 2016.