‘King Kong’ Romanov Aims to Stay Undefeated

Alexandr 'King Kong' Romanov (13-0) looks to remain unbeaten as he takes on the dangerous Juan "El Guapo" Espinso (10-1) at UFC Vegas 24.
King Kong
LAS VEGAS, NV (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

King Kong Romanov is box office.

This undefeated fighter (13-0) always entertains the fans with his performances.

A man amongst boys, Romanov throws his opponents around with ease like a kid playing with his toys.

Aside from the showcase of his brute strength and athleticism, Alexandr Romanov pushes at a high pace, where he has finished every opponent he’s faced.

Cool, calm, and collected, ‘King Kong’ Romanov is never in a rush and lets the fight come to him.

With his seamless transition to the UFC, Romanov is in the best shape he’s ever been in, and his performances exhibit that.

King Kong in the UFC

In his young UFC tenure, Romanov is 2-0, both victories coming in 2020.

Roque Martinez (15-5-2)

With Alexandr Romanov looking to get a new fight for his UFC debut, Roque Martinez (15-5-2) gladly stepped in.

Martinez, though short in stature, is a warrior through and through and welcomed a firefight, though he had never faced an opponent quite like Alexandr Romanov.

Romanov did whatever he wanted on the feet and the ground as the superior fighter.

He out-landed Martinez 55-7 in significant strikes, showcasing why he deserved to be in the UFC.

Late in the second round, ‘King Kong’ Romanov earned an arm-triangle choke submission victory, retiring Martinez from the fight.

Marcos de Lima (17-6-1)

Initially, de Lima was supposed to be Romanov’s first opponent in the UFC. The fights against Marcin Tybura (21-6) and Raphael Pessoa (10-2) were also canceled due to coronavirus complications.

Finally, the two heavyweights clash.

As soon as the fight started, Romanov took de Lima into his world. Alexandr aggressively tackled de Lima, dictating where the fight began and ended. This is arguably the most critical skillset in MMA.

Throughout the first round, De Lima landed impressive low, inside calf kicks that halted Romanov from seizing him. Despite de Lima’s efforts to maintain distance, Romanov marched through those kicks to initiate the clinch.

While they both have similar reaches at 75’, Romanov does his best work on the inside.

There aren’t many fighters that can match his strength, and Alexandr uses that to his advantage every time.

Unlike most fighters, ‘King Kong’ Romanov’s submission specialties include the forearm choke. His physical strength and controlled aggression make his top submission game even more deadly.

Case in point, Alexandr’s late first-round forearm choke submission win against Marcos Rogerio De Lima (17-6-1) last November.

‘King Kong’ In Moldova

King Kong
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
King Kong’s ground & pound is devastating.

In Romanov’s 13 MMA fights, he has only been out of the first round in three fights.

Alexander Stolyarov (25-8)

One of the biggest fights in Romanov’s career at the time, Alexandr was fighting for the interim EFC heavyweight belt against Stolyarov (25-8), a stout, gritty veteran.

Romanov started the fight quickly, as always, offering quick, aggressive heady and body kicks, controlling the pace and the distance.

Romanov knew that his opponent was a slow starter, so he stayed in Stolyarov’s face, pattering him with kicks, strikes, and finally, a monstrous takedown 30 seconds into the fight. Then ‘King Kong’ relentlessly reigned down unanswered shots as Stolyarov covered up.

Shota Betlemidze (19-2)

This was a rare fight where we saw Romanov not come out aggressively.

Shota Betlemidze shot right out of a cannon to attack Romanov and Romanov used that to his advantage to clinch and take Betlemidze to the cage.

This is where we saw a series of precise knees to the body from Romanov, stunning Betlemidze from doing anything else besides holding on for dear life.

Betlemidze’s downfall was in his aggressiveness, as he tried to take the then (2-0) Alexandr Romanov to the ground. The ground & pound of ‘King Kong’ was born in this fight, and was too much for Betlemidze late in the round.

‘King Kong’ Romanov earned a rear-naked choke submission victory, the third straight submission victory of his young professional career.

King Kong Still Unproven

Still in Question

As of right now, Romanov has not been pushed by any of his opponents where his cardio and striking are tested. In all of his fights, he was always in control of the fight and never had to overcome losing a round or an exchange from opponents.

Romanov’s specialty is on the ground, and that is where he typically wants the fight. In his most recent fight against De Lima, he was out-landed 18-6 on his way to his submission victory.

In the future, Romanov will have to clean up his stand-up to be a true contender in the UFC heavyweight division.

Since he usually finishes fights in the first round, his stamina is still questioned.

Formidable Opposition

‘King Kong’ Romanov’s next matchup might very well be the fighter to test his cardio and striking.

This Saturday, Alexandr Romanov takes on Juan “El Guapo” Espino (10-1) in the prelims (which still does not make any sense to me) of UFC Vegas 24.

Similar to Romanov, Espino’s specialty is the ground game. Espino is slightly taller than Romanov at 6’3 and will have a five-inch reach advantage over Romanov at 80′.

Espino also is a first-round finishing artist, as he has 6 first-round finishes in his MMA career.

He likes to pick people apart from the outside before clinching up with his opponents and taking them to the ground.

While Espino is 40 years old, he is still young into his MMA and UFC career. Be that as it may, Juan has shown that he has cardio for a full 15 minute bout.

For the first time in his career, ‘King King’ Romanov will face an opponent who seems to be on his same talent level and stature. If Romanov pulls out the victory, the future is very bright for the young heavyweight.