UFC 221 comes to us from Perth this weekend and the main event features two of the best in the Middleweight Division in Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, competing for the Interim Championship.
In the official press conference that took place earlier today morning, Rockhold didn’t exactly hold back when asked by the members of the media on how he plans to deal with Yoel’s pedigree in wrestling.
‘This is not wrestling. This is MMA. And when it comes to grappling, I’m the best. Yoel will find himself in trouble everywhere the fight goes. If he wants to tangle with me on the ground, I’m like no one he’s ever grappled with. I promise you I will be on top. I will be above him. Any time I’m above him, I will be winning. There’s no threat from Yoel. I can scramble, I can grapple. If he ends up in the bottom, I’ll take the life out of him.”
However, Rockhold did give props where it was due and noted the fact that he had to be on point to deal with the challenges that Romero poses.
“Every fight has its challenges. I believe the three of us (him, Romero and Whittaker) have separated ourselves from the pack. Yoel is dangerous, he’s powerful, he’s explosive…you never know what he’s going to do. I’ve to contain him, I’ve to be smart, focussed, patient.
He’s the best wrestler to ever grace the sport and one of the best ever in wrestling.”
Continuing on the same vein, Rockhold also went on to outline his gameplan for dealing with the explosive style that Romero brings to the Octagon, while also assessing his chances against Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker.
“Whittaker is in that same realm. He’s explosive, he’s more technical on the feet. I would have to push Whittaker to expose him.
I believe with Yoel, if I’m patient, he’ll expose himself. And that’s what I’m counting on. I’m going to wait for him and pick him off from outside.
And he’s going to have to come in, and when he comes in, I’ll make him pay. I’m going to have to force him outside his comfort zone. I’m going to force him to be where he doesn’t want to be.”
Watch the full press conference here: