The UFC heads to Australia for the first time this season once it sets up shop in Perth for UFC 221. Though the card is far from the sexiest you will see, there are still lots of compelling bouts to keep diehard fans intrigued.
The main event features Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold facing off. This bout was for the interim middleweight crown but after Romero failed to make weight, the name is only going to be on the line for Rockhold. The rest of the card is filled with plenty of hometown ability that will look to find the crowd in Perth eager for their first event ever.
Yoel Romero vs Luke Rockhold
Romero (+120) is an athletic freak. Despite being 40 years old,”The Soldier of God” has more speed, ability and athleticism than fighters half his age. This is the foundation of the entire game of Romero. In the striking phase, the Cuban just begs and begs for his moment to explode into strikes. It functions the same because of his wrestling. Romero is a Olympic wrestler and relies on that skill set over any other but he prefers to property takedowns with explosiveness instead of grinding it out.
However, Romero has a gas tank that is little. He’s patient in the Octagon since he burns through his cardio extremely fast. You are able to see him clearly breathing heavily after a big explosion of movement. That is exactly why his whole game is built around controlled proportions of energy resulting in controlling his competitor.
Not to be outdone, Rockhold (-150) is more athletically gifted than 95 percent of those fighters in the UFC. The former winner is fast and powerful but uses his normal size benefit better than many in the division, whether that is working from range supporting his left hook and body kick or dominating the leverage battle from the clinch. Offensively wrestling is not something Rockhold concentrates on — unless working from the clinch — but he is one of the craftier entry fighters in the branch.
There are holes in Rockhold’s game. The only minor flaw that sticks out is that his inclination to rely on specific strikes on the toes. He can rely a lot on his left hook and body kick, telegraphing and giving a opportunity to get countered.
Romero is as harmful as they come but his cardio is simply not there to compete with Rockhold. “The Soldier of God” can always land a KO shot — he has demonstrated that — but Rockhold’s clinch work will wear Romero down.
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