Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

The Eighth Wonder of the World

The Moldovan Monster, Alexandr “King Kong” Romanov returns to the octagon this weekend at UFC Vegas 39. Prepare to be spoiled with nonstop action as Romanov squares off with fellow heavyweight prospect Jared Vanderaa. 

The current and increasingly competitive state of the heavyweight division is what makes this matchup particularly exciting. Earlier this year a new heavyweight champion was crowned when Francis Ngannou introduced the world to an evolved and improved version of himself. Francis, otherwise known as “the scariest man on the planet”, dominated Stipe Miocic in their rematch, simultaneously winning the title, and avenging his loss to the former champion. 

Meanwhile, Ngannou’s former teammate, Ciryl Gane has catapulted himself to the top of the division. Gane remains undefeated, and in two short years has secured an interim UFC heavyweight title, and his position as the top contender. Those two will battle for the undisputed title in January. Other dangerous contenders in the division remain, such as Miocic, Derrick Lewis, and Curtis Blaydes. 

New prospects have entered the rankings, such as Tom Aspinall, Chris Daukaus, and Marcin Tybura. In the midst of all of this, perhaps there’s another name deserving of our attention. 

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Welcome to Skull Island

Romanov remains undefeated in his professional MMA career, with 14 wins overall, and 3 earned under the UFC banner. In his last competition, Romanov suffered an accidental strike to the groin, which prevented the Moldovan from being able to continue. The competition was ultimately declared a technical split-decision in favor of Romanov. This was the only fight in Romanov’s pro-career that he didn’t win by finish. 

Each of his previous victories were stoppages –a combination of 8 submissions and 5 TKO’s. Ten of those finishes happened in the first round, and four of them occurred in 1 minute and 15 seconds or less. 

As though it were the Empire State Building, “King Kong” will continue his climb toward the heavyweight throne as he makes his fourth promotional appearance. 

 

Unless You’re Godzilla, Avoid the Grappling Gorilla

The former Olympic Freestyle wrestler has earned a notable reputation for his grappling-heavy style. Romanov is a former two-time UWW grappling European bronze medalist and 2019 World University Championship bronze medalist. He began wrestling when he was only seven years old. 

Twenty three years later, Romanov will aim to continue his unbeaten streak while earning his fourth consecutive win in one of the world’s most competitive combat arenas. This weekend, will “Kong” establish himself as “King of the Jungle”, and the newest threat to the heavyweight division? 

Find out by watching the prelims on ESPN+ this Saturday at 1:30 pm EDT.

By Jared Moehring

Growing up, I was never a big fan of other professional sports. While most kids inherited the NFL, NBA, and MLB teams rooted for by their tribes, I found joy in watching old Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. At the age of 13 I fell in love with the sport of wrestling, and that same year I watched my first ever MMA event, UFC 151: Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez. My eyes glued to the TV in awe as the smaller man imposed his superior wrestling, which ultimately led to a TKO victory for Velasquez. As they say, the rest was history; I was hooked. Throughout the years, I've grown from "casual fan" to "doesn't miss a single round from early prelims to the main event." However, when I'm not creating or indulging in fight-content here in my home of Omaha, Nebraska, I enjoy camping and and exploring various national parks and forests throughout the country. Get to know me on Instagram: @jaredmoehring, or email me with any inquiries: jaredmoehring@gmail.com. Cheers!