UFC Fight Night 35 Play: Derek Brunson (+190) vs Yoel Romero (-230)

RomeroUFC Fight Night 35 Date: January 15, 2013 Arena: Arena at Gwinnett Center City: Duluth, GA Middleweight bout: Derek Brunson (+190) vs Yoel Romero (-230) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC Fight Night 35 will feature a match-up between a pair of middleweight southpaws coming off very impressive victories, when Strikeforce import Derek Brunson takes on the Olympic silver medalist, Yoel Romero. Brunson is the underdog heading into this bout at +190 ($100 to win $190), with Romero being the favorite at -230 ($230 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. DEREK BRUNSON (11-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is riding a two fight win streak inside the Octagon, coming off a very impressive first round finish of Brian Houston. Brunson hurt Houston with a head kick in the opening seconds of the round, dropping him, and then jumping on his back to secure the rear naked choke for the tap. That was the second time he finished an opponent in that fashion, as he previously dropped Lumumba Sayers with a straight left, and then took his back for the choke. Brunson is a talented, three-time All-American wrestler who is good at scoring both single and double-leg takedowns. He is not very active from top position, as far as ground and pound and submission attempts go, but he does have solid top control and is a good grinder at 185 pounds. Training out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, Brunson has been showing improvement in the striking department. The Southpaw has been seeing results from all the hours he puts In with striking coach Mike Winklejohn. He is very flexible and athletic. He has a solid straight left, and a nice high kick, which he caught Houston with. The Strikeforce import works well against the cage, where he likes to use his knees. His submission defense is good, but his striking defense is not. He tends to leave his chin high and open when throwing punches, which leaves him open for counterpunches. That could spell trouble against a heavy hitter like Romero. YOEL ROMERO (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is coming off a very impressive third round knockout victory over Ronny Markes, which followed an impressive first round flying knee knockout of Clifford Starks. Romero is now 2-0 inside the Octagon, and looks to go 3-0 as he makes a quick turnaround for this fight. He is without a doubt a finisher. Not only have his two UFC wins been knockouts, but he has finished all six opponents has faced in his professional mixed martial arts career by T/KO. He is a southpaw who throws very heavy hands, and packs a lot of power behind every strike. His lone career loss came against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante. He was doing well against “Feijao” until getting caught on the feet towards the end of the second frame. Romero is definitely a heavy hitter who is always looking to put his opponents away. The Cuban has excellent footwork, and uses the inside leg kick really well. He has solid striking defense, and is very patient, as he looks for opportunities to explode. He is an unorthodox striker who likes to set up his power shots. The Cuban works heavy kicks to the head and body, and loves to implement his vicious knees and elbows. Romero is a decorated wrestler who represented his country of Cuba in the 2000 Summer Olympics. It goes without saying that he is incredibly talented on the mat. He works solid takedowns and easily controls opponents while seriously punishing them. Training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, F.L., Romero looks to build on his impressive two fight win streak, and continue his run in the UFC’s middleweight division, as he has his eyes set on the 185 pound gold. Fight Prediction: Neither of these fighters have tremendous cardio, but I would give an advantage to Romero in that department. While he is older, I think he is more disciplined and is the better conditioned athlete. That said, I don’t see this fight lasting very long. I think Romero is going to start to connect, and his power is going to prove to be too much for Brunson. Gabe’s Pick: Yoel Romero by KO (strikes, 2:13 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Yoel Romero (-230) parlayed with Luke Rockhold (-390) for -125 5u to win 4u

Written by Gabe Killian

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