clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Here’s why Robert Whittaker believes Yoel Romero might be a genius

New, comments
UFC 221: Romero v Rockhold Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

I’ve read there’s a very fine line between genius and insanity.

In the case of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender, Yoel Romero, we’ve already seen the insanity part (shining samples here and here). As far as the genius?

It may depend on his health.

That’s according to reigning middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who was so impressed by “Soldier of God’s” performance at the UFC 221 pay-per-view (PPV) last weekend in Perth, Australia (recap), that “Reaper” was able to narrow it down to one of two things.

From his conversation with Grange TV (transcribed by BJPenn.com):

“He stood at perfect range for (Luke) Rockhold, he predicted all his strikes, all his combos. When Rockhold couldn’t kick – cause he always leads the kick, or tries to, doesn’t really set up his kicks too well – he’d check it. When Rockhold would work with his combos – no more than two or three – he’d block him. Then he’d just explode moving forward, landing punches, not overextending too much. Once [Romero] started realizing, ‘Oh okay, he’s not knocked out,’ he backed it up, took a breath, did absolutely nothing until he was ready to explode again. Genius or injured? Who knows. Yes, I was impressed. I was impressed with Romero’s confidence in Rockhold’s patterns. For Romero, for anyone to go in there and put in that sort of gameplan and that sort of show, he had undoubted confidence and prediction of what Rockhold was going to do. And Rockhold did it. That’s why he had that 70-percent striking defense, because Rockhold was doing everything that Romero knew he was going to do.”

Watch the highlights here.

Despite missing weight and failing to capture the interim title, Romero is widely expected to get the next crack at the 185-pound crown, just as soon as Whittaker is all patched up from his recent battle with Staph infection (more on that here).

While Romero complained of a leg injury in the wake of his Rockhold drubbing, subsequent reports confirmed the Cuban was uninjured and ready for his rematch against the power-punching Aussie, who took their first go-round by unanimous decision at UFC 213.

Who wins the sequel?