Romero, 27, one of Canada’s most talked-about young mixed martial artists, boasts an unblemished pro MMA record of 5-0. He was recently touted by MMAcanada.net — one of that country’s top MMA news sources — as “the real deal.” His most recent fight ended by KO after just 17 seconds.
“MMA fans north of the border know the name William Romero and now fans in the U.S. are going to have the chance to know it too,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “We are excited to welcome him to our organization.”
Romero will compete in Bellator’s eight-man Season 2 featherweight tournament along with 12-1-1 Russian-born fighter Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan and six yet-to-be announced 145s. Additional Bellator featherweight agreements will be announced next week.
Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 155, 170 and 185 lbs. with the winners of this year’s tournaments being declared No. 1 contenders to Bellator’s current roster of champions. Season 2 begins April 8th on Fox Sports Network.
Romero was born in Canada but spent a large chunk of his childhood living in Ecuador, where his family traces its ancestry. At 17, he enlisted as an infantry soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, became a paratrooper and served overseas in Bosnia.
At around the same time, he was introduced to MMA by famed Canadian trainer Randy Grant (the brother of UFC fighter T.J. Grant). Once Romero left the military at the age of 25, he started fighting full time.
“I quickly found out that MMA is my calling,” said Romero, who now lives just outside Toronto and fights from nearby Stoney Creek, Ontario. “It’s what I was born to do.”
Romero said he’s relishing the opportunity to compete on an international stage for the first time by way of Bellator’s landscape-altering TV distribution alliance. Under the terms of that deal, each of Bellator’s 24 fights during Seasons 2 and 3 will be distributed live in primetime on Thursday nights on FOX Sports Net and its regional sports network affiliates. The top moments from each week’s live events will then be condensed into an action-packed 30-minute highlight show, broadcast every Saturday night, late night, on NBC. A one-hour highlight show will air in Spanish on Telemundo every Saturday night from midnight to 1 a.m.
“I watched Season 1 of Bellator and I was very, very impressed,” Romero said. “The level of competition is just awesome. Now I’m hoping to make my mark and to show the world what people in Canada already know.”
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bellator or on Twitter @BellatorMMA. In addition, Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney can also be found on Twitter @BjornRebney.