Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza: Two masters enter the cage in what could have been the most exciting fight on UFC Fox 15.
Words could not describe how disappointed I was to learn of Yoel Romero’s injury and that the fight scheduled between Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza would have to be re-scheduled yet again. Despite the depressing and unavoidable circumstance we find ourselves in, lets take a closer look at these two awesome masters of fighting.
Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza are two fighters worthy of admiration. They have spent their entire lives devoted to mastering one martial art. That type of mastery, that type of devotion, that type of purpose is something I often wish I had in my life.
Coming into the Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza fight on 18th April 2015, lets take a minute to admire how far these grappling champions have come in MMA. Below find Yoel Romero vs Tim Kennedy and Jacare Souza vs Gegard Mousasi II.
Yoel Romero is one of the best wrestlers in MMA. He is the 2003 Pan American Games gold medalist, 2000 Sydney Olympic silver medalist, 1999 FILA World Champion gold medalist, has three gold medals from the Wrestling World Cup, 5 gold medals in the Pan American Championships and countless silvers and bronzes. In terms of free-style wrestling, this guy is a damned machine. When walking into the cage, Yoel’s opponents know that he belongs right there with MMA wrestling elite such as Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo, Sara McMann, Randy Couture, Matt Lindland and even Mark Schultz.
The question burning in my mind is, “Is Yoel Romero a better wrestler than Jacare is a BJJ grappler?”. Both are ridiculously accomplished in their respective disciplines. Both are incredibly athletic and perhaps even equal in strength, conditioning, and instinct. I do tend to lean towards BJJ more as the martial art that provides more solutions to a submission. However not to sound cliche, but it’s called mixed martial arts for a reason. The challenge will be for these fighters to show the fight world whether they are able to integrate their mastered skills into their game plan. In the MMA world, Yoel Romero has had 10 fights, four of them against notable fighters with Tim Kennedy possibly being the most challenging fight to date.
In Yoel Romero vs Tim Kennedy, we saw Yoel Romero apply his wrestling speed and abilities to his striking. He shows the fight world that he can cover distance quickly, it’s almost impossible to take him down and he is incredibly athletic and agile. Although Yoel was nearly finished at the end of the second round, he was saved by the bell and came back to win the fight in the first minute of the third round. This was also the fight where Yoel Romero controversially stayed in his corner an extra few seconds in between the second and third round
Jacare Souza on the other hand has been consistently improving his striking throughout his MMA career. At this point Yoel only has 10 fights in the cage while Jacare has 25! Jacare was also the former Strike Foce Middleweight Champion and has wins against top middleweight fighters like Gegard Mousasi, Yushin Okami, Robbie Lawler and…Tim Kennedy.
I’m always interested in how wrestlers do against BJJ grapplers. The most famous exmaple that comes to mind is Jon Fitch vs Demian Maia. Demian Maia controlled the fight and won via unanimous decision. Then we have Chael Sonnen vs Andre Galvao at Metamoris III. That may have been a mis-match in skill level at a BJJ tournament, but the amount of skill and control displayed from Galvao is note-worth. Then again we also saw Josh Barnett, a catch-wrestler, submit the seemingly invincible Dean Lister at Metamoris IV.
Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza. Two masters of their discipline who will seek to execute a sleek game plan while making every effort to prevent their opponent from executing theirs. Hopefully this fight will be a technicians dream and will give us a 5 round display of nail-biting, ecstasy-inducing fight strategy.
In the meantime, lets take a look at Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza’s most recent fights to date. We can appreciate their ability to adapt their athleticism and grappling mastery in the cage.
Yoel Romero vs Tim Kennedy full fight video. This was fight of the night at UFC 178.
Jacare Souza vs Gegard Mousasi II. This won performance of the night at UFC Fight Night Jacare vs Mousasi.