UFC Fight Night 70 Fight Breakdown: Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero

yoel-romero The main event of UFC Fight Night 70 is a five-round middleweight bout between Lyoto Machida and Yoel Romero. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Machida is a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Romero is a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Machida at -185 and Romero at +145, and there has been back-and-forth betting action for this closely-contested fight. This is a tough fight to call but I do lean towards the underdog Romero to get the win. Here’s why. Machida (22-6) is the former UFC light heavyweight champion and sure-fire Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang them up. The 37-year-old Brazilian is 14-6 in his UFC career including a 3-2 mark since dropping down to middleweight with wins over Mark Munoz, Gegard Mousasi and CB Dollway with losses to champion Chris Weidman and top contender Luke Rockhold. Machida comes from a karate background and has integrated that martial art into MMA perhaps better than any other fighter in the sport’s history. He has devastating punches, and his kicks are even better. His ability to knock opponents out come from his ability to counter them with one swift blow and finish them. He has a highlight-reel of knockout wins over a number of elite fighters, and with nine career knockouts — with many of them coming over championship-caliber opponents — it’s clear he has the ability to beat anyone in the world on any given day. In addition to his elite striking, Machida also has very underrated wrestling. He has impeccable takedown defence and he himself has underrated offensive wrestling. He also has underrated submissions, and his cardio is exceptional. In short, he’s one of the best in the world. However, the signs of a decline are there. In his last fight against Rockhold he was beaten down by a younger, fresher fighter and he fought a five-round war with Weidman just a year ago. Those fights take a lot out of you, especially considering Machida’s age. I still believe Machida is a top-five middleweight, but I believe that coming back just two months after taking a beatdown from Rockhold is really going to hurt him more than he thinks here against Rockhold in what is an extremely dangerous fight for Machida to take at this point of his career. Romero (9-1) is one of the top middleweight contenders in the UFC. The 38-year-old Cuban is 5-0 in the UFC with wins over Tim Kennedy, Clifford Starks, Derek Brunson, Ronny Markes and Brad Tavares. He comes from an Olympic wrestling background and not surprisingly has extremely explosive wrestling — just watch his fight with Tavares. In his earlier UFC fights he was taken down, which was odd, but he’s really cleaned up that part of his game and in his last fight he was able to stop the majority of Kennedy’s takedowns. On the feet Romero has some serious knockout power and can finish his opponents using any limbs of his body. He is one of the heaviest-handed hitters in the middleweight division and with eight career knockouts it’s clear he can finish anyone if he gets the chance. Since dropping down to middleweight Romero has looked nothing like a destroyer and despite being 38 he is still improving every time we see him. He has his flaws, mainly in his chin and cardio, but his offence and wrestling are so good that he’s going to be competitive with almost anyone in the division right now, Machida included, which makes for an extremely compelling main event at UFC Fight Night 70. Machida is the best fighter that Romero has ever fought, but I do think the Cuban gets the job done here, picking up the biggest win of his career in the process. Machida has long been a top middleweight, but the signs of him slowing down are there. He took a ton of damage in his last fight against Rockhold and I’m very surprised he decided to come back so soon after such a massive beatdown. Romero has been nothing but impressive as of late. He’s a freak athlete with a ton of knockout power, great wrestling, and he’s constantly improving, even at his age. I’m a believer in Romero and believe he has what it takes to beat Machida. I think he can pressure Machida and catch his chin with a punch, kick or a flying knee and finish him for the knockout win. I’ve been a believe of Machida for a long time, but if you look at his recent record, he just hasn’t been as consistent as one would imagine. I’ve missed the boat betting against Machida on several other occasions, but this time I’m going to take the plunge on Romero and take a shot on him to get the biggest win of his career.

Written by Adam Martin.

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