Welcome to the UFC: Alexander Romanov and Roque Martinez

Roque Martinez vs. Kiyoshi Kuwabara
Roque Martinez vs. Kiyoshi Kuwabara Credit: RIZIN FF

UFC Vegas 10 sees the promotion once against at the UFC Apex, with a card headlined by Angela Hill and Michelle Waterson. Also filling out the event are Bobby Green, Matt Schnell, Bryan Barberena, Roxanne Modafferi, plus several fighters on their way up. Alexander Romanov was supposed to make his UFC debut against Marcos Rogério de Lima last week. However Lima was pulled from the fight due to testing positive for COVID-19. Now a week later Romanov has been booked against fellow debuting heavyweight Roque Martinez.

Alexander “King Kong” Romanov
Comrat, Moldova
Lion Comrat
7 Submissions

How will Romanov fare in the UFC:

Alexander Romanov is a former Sumo wrestler which you can see in right away when he fights in MMA. Simply put, he’s a wrestler first and foremost. Once “King Kong” closes the distance he has the ability to just muscle opponents to the mat with the upper body lock.

Romanov will elevate foes and slam them does in emphatic fashion. He has almost no striking at all as he’s very sloppy and telegraphed. To close the distance he simply bull rushes the opposition, being very aggressive. What he does do well on the feet is throw heavy kicks. It’s a good weapon but one that would be far more effective if he set it up.

On the mat, Romanov is a problem — and a big one at that. He uses his weight to smother guys in top position and once he’s on top, especially in mount, he’s hard to shake off. His top position is reminiscent of Derrick Lewis. For a big man Romanov moves well on top and once he lets loose on the ground and pound he will rain down heavy strikes until the ref steps in. Romanov is a submission threat but it’s sort of white belt level, submitting opponents with neck cranks and forearm chokes. Nonetheless it shows how strong the Moldovan really is. His striking would be his biggest weakness and it’s important to note that the longer the fight goes on, the bigger a problem his cardio becomes.

Roque Martinez
Tamuning, Guam
Spike 22
3 Submissions

How will Martinez fare in the UFC:

Martinez is a hard-headed tough dude always going out on his shield. From start to finish, Martinez is constantly coming forward. He doesn’t have the biggest power but his volume and forward pressure breaks opponents. He throws a lot of nice uppercuts and will throw combinations ripping to the body as well. Martinez also will throw a lot of kicks really going after that lead leg mainly. He likes to throw in the clinch as well with short strikes and lead elbows.

What makes Martinez excel is his ability to take a shot. The ability to take a shot also hinders him however, as he does get hit way too often.

While toughness is an excellent quality to have, an even better one is cardio — and Martinez has that. The ability to dig deep for three hard rounds and stay on the gas is such a nice quality to possess, especially for a heavyweight. Martinez has a lot of tools to excel as a heavyweight but I do worry about him just getting picked apart by strikers with good movement.

How do these two match up:

It’s a tough fight to pick as it’s striker vs grappler. I haven’t really seen Martinez have to defend firm takedowns. Although I really don’t think Romanov is a good wrestler he is the bigger guy with a five-inch height advantage and throwing guys around is what he does. I feel if Romanov doesn’t get it done in the first, Martinez could take over with a superior gas tank. I’m leaning with Romanov because of the big physical advantage but I won’t be surprised either way.