The heavyweight division is one that is about as consistently unpredictable as any in the sport of MMA. Currently on the rise out of Moldova is the unbeaten Alexandr “King Kong” Romanov.
With three more wins, the 30-year-old behemoth sees himself in title contention — an area that he believes needs more activity.
“I understand that now in heavyweight we have some problems with the champ being not so active,” Romanov told MyMMANews. “He makes just one fight in a year. I think this is a little problem for all of our division. I think the champ must make two or three fights in a year because he must show that he is No. 1. If he just makes one fight in a year it makes very many questions because the rest of the division remains without work.”
Having fought only one man since 2018, reigning UFC champion Stipe Miocic is set to face yet another familiar face in Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 on March 27. With a win the first time around, Romanov sees the champ as a favorite with his high fight IQ and distance management. He notes that the longer the fight goes, similar to their UFC 220 clash, the better Miocic’s chances.
As for what’s on the immediate horizon for the 13-0 finisher himself remains to be determined as he continues honing his craft early into the new year.
“I have talked with my manager and they say probably March,” Romanov said of his potential next time out. “But I don’t know who it will be. I want it to be top 10 which will be very fun for me and my team. We can make the next step in our career. If we win against somebody from the top 10 we can go up and this can change our situation
“I want to fight with [Marcin] Tybura because I don’t like when my career has questions. I want to close this question. After this, I can go without problems, without these questions.”
The start to Romanov’s UFC tenure in 2020 started bumpy as three fights fell through. The second of which was a high-profile contest with the now-No. 15 ranked Marcin Tybura.
The culprit? None other than COVID-19.
Thanks to the global virus, Romanov missed out on the big opportunity as he wound up rebooked opposite Marcos Rogerio de Lima — a roadblock for the Moldovan as de Lima too would test positive resulting in a third and final fight cancelation.
In the end, Romanov adapted his training procedures to an enclosed format where only five to six people can be in his gym at a time. Essentially leading to less coming and going for potential spread.
After dominating RIZIN veteran Roque Martinez in his promotional debut, “King Kong” picked up his third career forearm choke in a rebooked matchup with the Brazilian.
“It’s my favorite choke,” Romanov said of his submission on de Lima. “In my training with my coach, in the grappling, very often I’ll hit this choke like how you have seen in the cage. It’s a really good choke for heavyweights, I think. Middleweight and lightweight, it’s not so easy to make this choke happen.”
Having never gone to the judges’ scorecards in 13 straight outings, Romanov has represented his country wonderfully. He’s one of the rare few talents out of Moldova to reach such heights in MMA and wants to continue actively competing three or four times a year.
An admirer of the legendary Fedor Emelianenko, the Comrat native wants to be just as good of a respectable role model outside of the Octagon. But inside of it, he’s a ferocious presence that pours on the pressure never allowing his opponents time to think.
Despite having all these factors in mind, Romanov himself remains focused as a stone-cold destroyer.
“We have just three fighters in the UFC from Moldova and I think this is very good for such a little country,” He expressed.”In Europe, we have so [many] bigger countries, but they don’t have fighters in the UFC, and I think three fighters from our very small country is a very good result.
“I don’t have pressure from this zero in my career. This is a sport and I understand that with every fight this zero can change. It’s not a problem for me because if the opponent thinks about this undefeated streak, this gives too much pressure for his mentality, yeah? And I think this is how God gives to us, all this from god, victories, and losses, there’s not a problem.”
Drake is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, WhatCulture, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at YouTube.com/DrakeRiggs where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.