I remember first hearing about Yoel Romero, and my first thought was that he had a cool first name. After doing some research, I found out that he is an Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. That fact alone will change the game. It has been said over and over again that wrestling is the best base for a mixed martial arts career. College wrestlers have proven to be some of the best fighters that the world has ever seen, but how about Olympic-caliber wrestling?
It’s safe to say that expectations are going to be pretty high. Romero is in now the spotlight more than ever, but it is not for his wrestling — it is because of his knockout power.
In what was a barn-burner of a fight, Romero was able to mount an incredible comeback and finish Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night. The biggest surprise of the fight was that from the starting bell, Brunson came out heavy and was even able to take down Romero on multiple occasions. Romero saw through the adversity and threw caution to the wind in the third to get a stoppage.
The great thing about this is that not only does the UFC have another Olympic athlete on its roster, but that Olympic athlete is also a knockout artist. The UFC is constantly looking for new stars, and they were just handed one that was gift wrapped and delivered to their doorstep.
I predict that Romero is going to fight a top-10 opponent in his next bout, and that will be the fight that we see if he is going to be a contender this year. I say this year because Romero is remarkably inexperienced when it comes to fighting, and the fact that he was able to dig deep and get the win shows that he is willing to go the extra mile.