With the big card heading to us from Perth, Australia this weekend we look at some of the more spectacular moments throughout the careers of the main and co-main event fighters.
With a record of 12-2 in MMA and holding the current number 1 middleweight contender spot Romero has proven time and time again that he is able to get the win and often in breathtaking fashion. He has often shown and is now known for his exceptional athleticism and dynamic striking. There is no clearer example I believe of this than in his octagon début in April 2013 against Clifford Starks.
DISCLAIMER: Some of the following highlight videos have obnoxiously loud music/commentary, watch your ears.
Those with a more recent interest in the sport will recall a striking similarity to the way Romero finnish former middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 205. With these finishes coming in the first and third rounds respectively watch for Romero to stay dangerously explosive through the fight.
Romero will be up against another of the best fighters the UFC has to offer in Rockhold. With finishes of almost all types, punches, rear naked choke, guillotine choke and the elusive body kick knockout to name but a few Rockhold is more than a handful for anyone in the division. This does however make it quite difficult to pick out a single specific highlight from Rockholds career. An area where there is no question that Rockhold excels in is his ground game which he has shown to be highly technical on several occasions. As a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Rockhold can dominate almost any other fighter in the division on the ground, as he does here against Tim Boetsch with one of only two inverted triangle kimuras in UFC history .
For this reason it will be interesting to see if Rockhold manages to control the never submitted Romero (an Olympic wrestling medallist himself) on the ground in such a way.
What is there to be said about the storied career of Hunt that hasn’t already been said? The man is the living embodiment of the walk away knockout, with 9 of his 13 victories coming by way of either TKO or KO due to punches. One of the most prolific knockouts of the bunch would be that over other hard-hitting heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Much like Hunt, Nelson is celebrated for his granite chin and wrecking ball right hand, having only been knockout only once prior to this fight and never by a single blow. This shows the power and precision that Hunt possesses in his striking and is the reason he is a must watch for big knockout fans.
Unlike the perennial contender Hunt, Blaydes is relatively new to the UFC heavyweight division. The 26 year old however has still proven himself a threat with 7 of his 8 wins coming by way of TKO. An exciting highlight from Blaydes still blossoming career would be his double hammer fist knockout while still fighting under the Resurrection Fighting Alliance banner.
Clearly a powerful athlete and dominant wrestler it will be fascinating to see if the upcoming prospect can rise to the occasion. Providing he can avoid/weather the devastating bombs of Hunt and take the win it will likely see Blaydes move closer if not into the heavyweight top 5 rankings.
With so many top level fighters, many not even touched upon here, throughout the divisions this is shaping up to be an excellent card. With many opportunities for fighters to add to their already expansive highlight reels this is a must see for all UFC and MMA fans.
UFC 221 Prelims beginning at 1am with the main card following at 3am GMT on Sunday 11th and will be shown on BT Sport 2.