Romero Trailing Rockhold on UFC 221 Betting Odds
Yoel Romero will be battling for the interim UFC middleweight championship for the second time in seven months when he takes on Luke Rockhold this weekend as a +115 underdog on the UFC 221 betting odds.
Romero found himself on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in his UFC 213 clash with reigning champion Robert Whittaker, but maintains his perch as the No. 1 challenger in the UFC middleweight division going into the matchup at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia.
Romero rocketed up the rankings after joining the UFC in April 2013, recording eight straight victories, including six knockout wins, before falling to Whittaker as a slim -105 underdog in his first professional fight to last a full five rounds. The 40-year-old Cuban has compiled a solid 12-2 professional mixed martial arts record, and has earned Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night bonuses in five of his past seven octagon appearances.
Rockhold (-145) quickly rebounded after losing the UFC middleweight crown with a stunning opening-round KO loss to Englishman Michael Bisping as a massive -650 favorite at UFC 199.
The 30-year-old American disposed of David Branch in the second round of their clash at UFC Fight Night 116 to pay out on short -600 odds. Rockhold has now finished opponents in each of his past six victories, picking up the win by submission on four occasions to lift his pro record to 16-3.
While Rockhold’s reign atop the middleweight division was brief, with his loss to Bisping coming in his first title defense, the former World Jiu-Jitsu Championship gold medallist enjoys a wealth of experience in preparing for five-round contests. Ten of Rockhold’s past 11 fights have been featured as co-main events or main events on their respective cards, including three wins during his climb to the Strikeforce middleweight championship.
However, just three of those fights went beyond three rounds, including Rockhold’s fourth-round TKO win over Chris Weidman as a +135 bet at UFC 194, which earned him the UFC middleweight crown.
Hunt vs. Blaydes also on Betting Card for UFC 221
Earlier on the card, Mark Hunt (+130) will be aiming to tally consecutive wins for the first time in almost two years as he takes on fellow heavyweight Curtis Blaydes(-160). The Super Samoan is coming off an impressive fourth-round TKO win on punches over Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110 as -140 chalk.
However, Hunt has posted just four victories in his past 10 octagon appearances, and was pulled from his recently scheduled clash with Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 121 over concerns that the No. 5 UFC heavyweight challenger was suffering from a brain injury.
Blaydes looks to continue his rise up the UFC rankings with a third straight victory inside the distance. “Razor” climbed to No. 9 after posting a second-round TKO win over Oleksiy Oliynyk as a strong -325 favorite at UFC 217, and currently sports an 8-1-1 pro MMA record.
In other UFC 221 action, Australian Tai Tuivasa(-325) tries to build on his perfect 6-0 record as he battles Cyril Asker(+250) in a clash of heavyweights, while China’s Li Jingliang guns for a fifth straight win in his welterweight tilt with Jake Matthews.
Odds as of February 5, 2018