Romero vs. Rockhold Pick
Will Luke Rockhold claim the UFC Interim Middleweight Championship tonight when he faces off with Yoel Romero? Here’s our pick for the UFC 221 main event.
According to the latest oddsmakers at YouWager, Rockhold is favored to win this fight, as he has odds of -185 to win, while Romero is being given a money line of +150 to prevail. Tonight’s bout is the main event of UFC 221, which takes place from Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. The main card will air live on PPV.
Rockhold (16-3) is a former UFC Middleweight Champion that was originally scheduled to face Robert Whittaker for the championship. However and injury forced Whittaker out and Romero stepped in for an interim title fight. Romero was unable to make weight last night, so only Rockhold is eligible to claim the crown if he wins. Rockhold last fought in September, when he scored a second-round TKO over David Branch. He has fought just two times since he won the title in December of 2015. Rockhold is a long fighter with very good striking and solid grappling.
Romero (12-2) is coming off a decision loss to Whittaker last July for his first defeat in six years. A powerful wrestler, Romero has developed some powerful striking over the years. He owns KO wins over the likes of Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman. Romero carries a lot of muscle weight, however, which could be a factor if this fight lags on. Missing weight means he likely is not going to be in great shape for this fight.
Had Romero made weight, I would have likely leaned toward him. Rockhold is someone that tends to leave himself open to strikes. It is how he has lost his last two bouts. However, Romero had an extra two hours of weight cutting and will have to fight less than 24 hours later. That’s not a good mix. Rockhold will look to push a pace to tire Romero out and eventually get him on his back. When Rockhold gets on top, he’s hard to get off due to his length. Look for Rockhold to secure a submission in the middle to late rounds.
UFC 221 PREDICTIONS: LUKE ROCKHOLD -185