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UFC 205 Picks: Chris Weidman vs Yoel Romero

And the breakdowns just keep on coming. One of the most anticipated bouts on the card pits former middleweight champion Chris Weidman against the returning Yoel Romero in a bout that has major title implications. As one of the only native New Yorkers on the card, Chris Weidman has a ton of pressure on his shoulders but also has a lot to prove to both himself and the masses. Will Yoel Romero give the former champ the opportunity to seize redemption or will the Cuban native be too powerful and explosive for Weidman?

Chris Weidman was looking to be the next streaking middleweight champion after dethroning Anderson Silva at UFC 162. Despite talks of those victories over Silva being a fluke, Weidman has since proved himself with victories over Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort. Losing the belt to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, this bout is Weidman’s return to the octagon after an extended hiatus due to injury. The first thing that Weidman should look to do in this bout is push Romero back. He’ll have to do so cautiously utilizing a high guard and consistent feints to keep Romero guessing. Even if done well there will constantly be the threat of an explosive strike coming Weidman’s way. Hand fighting, leg kicks, front kicks, and crosses to the body will be effective against Romero who fights in an opposite southpaw stance. The crosses to the body can work as a fake takedown attempt which could throw Romero off. When Weidman decides to commit, Romero may be so confused as to what’s coming that a double or single leg can be secured. Failing that, Weidman could always choose to engage in clinch warfare as a means of tiring out Romero who tends to fade down the stretch.

On the other side of the equation, if Yoel Romero wants to be victorious at UFC 205, he’ll have add variety to his arsenal as well. While he’s enjoyed a tremendous amount of success during his UFC tenure due to his explosive striking style and terrifying wrestling, he should look to combine all of his tools together in order to put the well rounded Chris Weidman into a defensive shell. Romero’s striking is so sudden and powerful that most fighters are likely to either back all the out of the way of his strikes or flinch and be hit for their troubles. He can utilize his explosive movement in different ways in order to get Weidman to react at the wrong times. Feinting will be Romero’s best friend in this bout, particularly in the wrestling realm. A fake shot to an uppercut is sure to pay dividends in the long run. It’s hard to say who the better wrestler is though Romero has superior credentials. Threatening with wrestling can’t hurt and will open Weidman up to strikes from angles where he won’t see things coming.

This fight, like all others, is as much mental as it is physical. Yoel Romero is a physical beast with a ton of gifts. If he couples the mental warfare with his natural physicality, then victory is assured. The thing is we’ve seen moments where he relies too heavily on his natural talent rather than strategy. Other than a few blunders here and there, Chris Weidman has always been a man who sticks to a plan and forces others to fight his fight. Look for the former champion to get back to his winning ways by netting a hard fought decision victory at UFC 205.

Who ya got at UFC 205, Chris Weidman or Yoel Romero?


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