Way back at the Summer Olympics of 2000, UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero. Was wrestling at the very highest level for his home country of Cuba. In the first match we see, Romero loses to Adam Saitiev of Russia. Who he would once again go on to face in 2002, at World Wrestling Championships.
The in 2005, Romero would once again face a Russian opponent in Sazhid Sazhidov at the Ali Aliev Tournament. Many fans sometimes forget the pedigree required in order to compete at the very highest levels of amateur wrestling. And why the sport of wrestling transfers so well into the domain of mma.
You will see many of the same tools Romero used throughout his career as a wrestler inside the cage. Tools which have given him a unique understanding of body position. Coupled with an athletic ability which has made him one of the most feared men in the sport. Today while being in his early forties, Romero is still considered one of the very top contenders in the UFC.
He faces off against former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 221. To decide who the number one contender will be to face the champion Robert Whittaker, the man Romero lost to only recently. Let’s see how his Olympic level wrestling game stacks up against that of Rockhold’s excellent submisson grappling.
Can Yoel Romero excel and become the UFC middelweight champion as so many had expected? The Cuban sits just on the cusp of a breakthrough that would see him become the very first Cuban champion in the UFC. Still with a mountain to climb, Romero is almost at the pinnacle and only requires another small push to make it to the top.
With every eye in the UFC middleweight division being on this matchup. It is not up to The Soldier of God to make his presence known.