UFC Fight Night 70 Play: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (-185) vs Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (+160)

yoel-romeroUFC Fight Night 70 Date: June 27, 2015 Arena: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino City: Hollywood, FL Middleweight bout: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (-185) vs Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (+170) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC Fight Night 70 in Florida will be a five round middleweight contest between former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Cuban Olympian Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero. The Brazilian is a -185 ($185 to win $100) betting favorite heading into the contest, with the Cuban being a +170 ($100 to win $170) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (22-6 MMA, 14-6 UFC) last saw action just two months ago at UFC on FOX 15, where he was dominated and submitted via rear naked choke by Ruke Rockhold in the second round of action. In an immediate return to action, he looks to get back on track and remain relevant in the UFC’s 185-pound title picture by taking out the Cuban Olympian. “The Dragon” is a very talented striker with a bit of an unorthodox Karate style that he has definitely made his own. He is a fighter who remains very calm and collected. He is patient on the feet, does not get over-aggressive, and looks for his opportunities to attack. Machida is very accurate and calculated with his striking, he does not waste any strikes. He is good when pushing the pace and being the aggressor, but he is also an incredible counter-striker. The Brazilian likes to bait opponents into his traps; he often frustrates his opponents into making mistakes he capitalizes on, which is how he has earned many of the knockouts in his professional mixed martial arts career. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has great striking defense and uses his distance really well. He likes working his knees, as well, especially the left knee to the body. Machida has tremendous takedown defense, as he has very strong hips and a solid base, thanks to time spent training as a sumo wrestler long before getting involved in mixed martial arts. The Brazilian works excellent kicks, including a solid front kick, and a variety of head and body kicks. Training out of Black House MMA in Los Angeles, CA, Machida is a well-conditioned fighter who will have a general cardio advantage over Romero headed into this contest, and will certainly have enough in the tank for 25-minutes of action, if necessary. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (9-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is coming off a controversial third round TKO win over Tim Kennedy and now rides a five fight winning streak in side the Octagon, with four wins coming by way of T/KO; one of them in the first stanza, and three in the third. The Cuban is without a doubt a finisher. Not only have four of five of his UFC wins been knockouts, but he has finished eight of the nine opponents he has faced in his professional mixed martial arts career by T/KO. Romero 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. He has great movement on the feet, and uses the inside leg kick really well. He has solid striking defense, and is very patient, as he looks for opportunities to explode. The Cuban is an unorthodox striker who likes to set up his power shots. He 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, FL, Romero’s cardio is very hit or miss; he will likely be at a disadvantage in that department heading into his first five round main event against the Brazilian veteran. Gabe’s Call: “Soldier of God” by T/KO (punches, 0:50 round 1) Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this fight is closer than the betting odds and think Romero should be a -130 betting favorite heading into the contest, so I like him at his current underdog tag of +160. As I mentioned, the Cuban’s cardio is very hit or miss. If he shows up with the conditioning he displayed in his bout against Brad Tavares, I could see him winning a decision in this contest. That said, I see this bout ending inside the distance more often than not, and while I think a finish on both ends is a very realistic possibility, I am favoring Romero to get the job done, ultimately earning the biggest win of his professional mixed martial arts career. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Romero (+160) 2.5u to win 4u.

Written by Gabe Killian

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