The UFC heads to Australia for the very first time this year when it sets up shop in Perth to get UFC 221. Though the card is far from the sexiest you’ll see, there are still lots of persuasive bouts to stay diehard fans interested.
The main event features Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold facing away. This bout was for the interim middleweight crown but following Romero failed to make weight, the name will only be on the line for Rockhold. The rest of the card is filled with loads of hometown ability that will look to get 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 Romero’s whole game’s base. At the striking phase, the Cuban only floats and waits for his moment to explode to strikes. It works the same for his wrestling. Romero is a Olympic wrestler and depends upon that skill set over any other but that he still prefers to land takedowns with explosiveness rather than grinding it out.
Romero has a gas tank. He’s patient in the Octagon because he burns through his cardio extremely quickly. You can see him clearly breathing after a significant explosion of motion. That’s why his whole game is built around controlled proportions of energy resulting in controlling his opponent.
Not to be outdone, Rockhold (-150) is more athletically gifted than 95 percent of those fighters in the UFC. The former champion is powerful and fast but uses his natural size advantage better than most in the branch, whether that is working from range supporting his left body and hook kick or controlling the leverage battle in the clinch. Offensively wrestling is not something Rockhold concentrates on — unless functioning out of the clinch — he is one of the craftier submission fighters in the branch.
There are holes in the game of Rockhold. The only minor flaw that sticks out is that his tendency to rely on specific strikes on the feet. He could rely a lot on his left hook and body kick, telegraphing and giving a chance to become countered.
Romero is very harmful as they come but his cardio is not really 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.
Read more: snorkernews.com