The UFC heads to Australia for the very first time this season when it sets up shop in Perth to get UFC 221. Although the card is far from the sexiest you will notice, there are still lots of compelling bouts to stay 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 stuffed with plenty of hometown ability that will look to get the crowd in Perth excited 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, power and athleticism than fighters half his age. This is Romero’s whole game’s foundation. In the striking phase, the Cuban only floats and waits for his moment to explode into strikes. It works the same because of his wrestling. Romero is a Olympic wrestler and depends upon that skill set more than any other but that he still prefers to property takedowns with explosiveness instead of grinding it out.
Romero has a gas tank that is small. He’s patient in the Octagon because he burns through his cardio extremely fast. You are able to see him clearly breathing heavily after a significant explosion of movement. That’s why his entire game is built around controlled bursts of energy leading to controlling his opponent.
Not to be outdone, Rockhold (-150) is much more athletically gifted than 95% of the fighters in the UFC. The former winner is powerful and fast but uses his natural size benefit better than most in the branch, whether that is working from range supporting his left hook and body kick or controlling the leverage battle from the clinch. Offensively wrestling is not something Rockhold concentrates on — unless working from the clinch — but he is just one of the craftier entry fighters in the branch.
There are not many holes in the game of Rockhold. The only minor flaw which sticks out is his inclination to rely on particular strikes on the toes. He can rely a lot on his left body and hook kick, telegraphing and giving a opportunity to become countered.
Romero is as dangerous 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’s proven that — but Rockhold’s clinch work will wear Romero down.
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