Las Vegas, NV — Moldovan heavyweight Alexandr Romanov notched UFC win number five on Saturday at UFC Vegas 53, submitting Chase Sherman with an Americana.
“King Kong” is a perfect 16-0 thus far in his career, and at 31 is part of the “new wave” of UFC heavyweights, a group that includes Tom Aspinall, Tai Tuivasa, and Chris Daukaus. Of the group, however, Romanov has been given arguably the slowest built, despite now having four finishes among his five UFC wins.
Following Saturday’s big win over Sherman, a short-notice replacement for Tanner Boser (the pair were supposed to fight last week, only for a minor injury to push the bout back), Romanov told media outlets including Cageside Press that he’s “in the best shape of my career now. But we just started.”
Later, he’d suggest that he was operating at just five percent of his ability.
“This was just five percent of our possibility, of our skills, what we have. Because everybody knows that I am a good grappler, I am a good wrestler, but nobody [has seen] my striking,” Romanov stated. “I promise you, that one day, everybody will see my striking, and that will be incredible.”
As to why he didn’t opt to show his striking against Sherman, “my coach said that, we will win on wrestling and grappling.” Had Sherman’s takedown defense been up to snuff, it would have been a different story. “If our wrestling and grappling doesn’t work, we will show our striking.”
As an undefeated fighter, Romanov now carries with him certain expectations. But he’s not feeling any added pressure because of the 0 attached to his record. “That’s the sport. That’s our life. I don’t know. I can finish my career with this 0, or this 0, one day it can change. It’s in the hands of the Gods. I just work in the gym, I just listen [to] my coach, and I try to make a big show in the cage for our spectators.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 53 post-fight media appearance from Alexandr Romanov above. More coverage from the event can be found below.