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 will win the primary event between Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, which is fitting considering the 50-50 nature of this one. Our ideas are also split on the co-main between Mark Hunt and Curtis Blaydes. As for the rest of the main card? Yeah… fully forgettable.
Notice: Predictions are entered during the week and gathered the day before the event. Explanations behind every choice aren’t required and a few writers elect to not do this for their own motives. For example, 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 one fighter for any specific fight.
Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero
Anton Tabuena: Romero does not have MMA wrestling which is certainly on par with his credentials, and if this goes to the ground, which is Rockhold’s world. This basically 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 your far superior MMA fighter overall. Unless Rockhold starts slow and gets sloppy, he should be in a position to control distance, land those big kicks, and possibly finish this on the ground. Luke Rockhold by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: Selfishly, I want Rockhold to acquire since it’s simply more interesting to see him against Robert Whittaker compared to Whittaker vs. Romero 2, a fight I think Whittaker wins much more conclusively than he did the first time. Romero is not a man who completes people quickly, but the mere truth he’s so harmful from the later rounds poses a different challenge for Luke. That said, I trust Rockhold’s cardio to hold up in a five-rounder, he has a more diverse ground game than Romero (zero livelihood submission attempts), and that I believe his kicks will be key to effecting Romero’s gas tank as the fight progresses. You constantly have to be worried about Romero’s KO power, as well as the potential for him to place Rockhold on his back and deliver some punishment, but I think Rockhold gets the win in a tough, highly competitive competition. Luke Rockhold by decision.

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