UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold staff picks and predictions

The Bloody Elbow team has made its predictions for Saturday’s UFC 221 card in Perth, Australia. Opinion is fairly divided on who’ll win the main event between Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, which is fitting considering the 50-50 nature of the one. Our ideas are also divided on the co-main involving Mark Hunt and Curtis Blaydes. In terms of the rest of the card? Yeah… completely unanimous.
Notice: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind every choice aren’t required and a few authors opt not to do this for their own reasons. For instance, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any excuses he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with a single fighter for any given fight.
Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero
Anton Tabuena: Romero doesn’t have MMA wrestling which is certainly on par with his credentials, and if this does go to the floor, that will be Rockhold’s entire world. So this essentially boils down to Romero landing a bomb, or him worked by the more technical and complete fighter. Romero has electricity and he can certainly put his lights out at any point, but I just think Rockhold is your far superior MMA fighter in general. Unless Rockhold starts slow and gets sloppy, he should be able to control distance, land those big kicks, and possibly complete this on the ground. Luke Rockhold by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: Selfishly, I need Rockhold to win because it’s just more interesting to see him against Robert Whittaker than Whittaker vs. Romero two, a fight I think Whittaker wins even more than he did the very first time. Romero is not a man who completes people immediately, but the mere fact he’s so harmful in the later rounds poses another challenge for Luke. Nevertheless, I trust Rockhold’s cardio to hold up in a five-rounder, he’s got a more diverse floor game than Romero (zero livelihood submission attempts), and I think his cries will be crucial to effecting Romero’s gas tank as the fight progresses. You constantly need to be concerned about Romero’s KO power, as well as the possibility for him to place Rockhold on his spine and deliver some punishment, but I think Rockhold gets the win in a tough, highly competitive competition. Luke Rockhold by conclusion.

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