UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold staff picks and predictions
The Bloody Elbow team has made its own forecasts for Saturday’s UFC 221 card in Perth, Australia. Opinion is rather divided on who’ll win the primary event between Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, which is fitting considering the 50-50 nature of the one. Our thoughts are also split on the co-main involving Mark Hunt and Curtis Blaydes. As for the rest of the card? Yeah… completely unanimous.
Notice: Predictions are entered during the week and collected the day prior to the event. Explanations behind every choice aren’t required and a few writers elect not to do so for their own motives. For instance, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any excuses , he has no idea if he is likely to be the only one siding with a single fighter for any given fight.
Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero
Anton Tabuena: Romero does not have MMA wrestling which is on par with his credentials, and when this does go to the floor, that will be Rockhold’s entire world. This essentially boils down to Romero landing a bomb, or him worked by the more technical and complete fighter. Romero has power and he can certainly put out his lights at any point, but I just think Rockhold is the far superior MMA fighter in general. Unless Rockhold starts slow and gets sloppy, he should be in a position to control distance, land those big kicks, and maybe finish this on the floor. Luke Rockhold by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: Selfishly, I want Rockhold to acquire because it’s simply more interesting to watch him against Robert Whittaker than Whittaker vs. Romero two, a fight I think Whittaker wins much more than that he did the very first time. Romero isn’t a guy who completes people immediately, but the mere fact he’s so dangerous from the subsequent rounds presents another challenge for Luke. That said, I trust Rockhold’s cardio to maintain up in a five-rounder, he’s got a more varied floor game than Romero (zero career submission attempts), and I believe his kicks will be key to effecting Romero’s gas tank as the fight progresses. You constantly have to be concerned about Romero’s KO power, as well as the potential for him to put Rockhold on his spine and deliver a punishment, but that I believe Rockhold gets the win in a tough, highly competitive competition. Luke Rockhold by unanimous decision.
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