The UFC is rapidly filling up its bout sheet for Fight Night 35. The latest addition is a matchup that could produce fireworks between middleweights Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson. This was a fight that was originally targeted for UFC 164, but fell through when Brunson was forced to withdraw due to an injury. Both 185-pound competitors are currently riding two-fight win streaks.
Romero has an Olympic wrestling background, having won a silver medal representing Cuba back at the 2000 Sydney games. He has a career record of 6-1 and has shown off some devastating power, with all six victories coming by way of knockout. He made his Octagon debut an impressive one, earning a Knockout of the Night bonus for a destructive first-round finish of Clifford Starks at UFC on FOX 7.
Most recently, he registered a devastating third-round KO of Ronny Markes at Fight for the Troops 3. He’s 2-0 since making the move to middleweight after being knocked out in a Strikeforce fight against the heavy-handed Rafael Cavalcante.
As for Brunson, he carries some positive momentum into this fight as well. He’s recovered nicely from a first-round knockout in Strikeforce at the hands of the dangerous Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by going 2-0 in the Octagon. Brunson made his debut at UFC 155 against Chris Leben and recorded a unanimous decision victory. He utilized his superior wrestling skills to completely negate the veteran’s dangerous striking game.
His next effort was a much more emphatic one as he finished Brian Houston in just 48 seconds at Fight for the Troops 3. Brunson landed a huge head kick just moments into the fight and secured a submission via rear-naked choke. He’s an impressive 11-2 in his career.
Two talented prospects in the 185-pound weight class will be looking to move on to bigger and better things with a victory on January 15. Given the explosive efforts in their last fights, it could be one of those contests where we won’t have to worry about going to the judges’ scorecards.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports