“King Kong” vs. “The Mountain” sounds like a WWE match or bad action movie; but, actually, it is a heavyweight matchup on Saturday night. Alexandr “King Kong” Romanov is 30 years old and undefeated as an MMA professional. All but one of his wins have come by finish, with five knockouts and eight submissions. In the UFC, he is 3-0 with two submission wins.
Jared “The Mountain” Vanderaa is one year younger, 12-5 overall, and 1-1 in the UFC after earning a contract in Dana White’s Contender Series 2020. Ten of his twelve wins have come by finish, with seven knockouts and three submissions.
Romanov vs. Vanderaa betting odds
Romanov is the largest favorite on the card which makes Vanderaa the most lucrative underdog should he get the upset.
Romanov vs. Vanderaa breakdown
Romanov is awesome. I know that isn’t the most technical breakdown (that will come later) but I needed to say it. After each win, Romanov literally throws and suplexes his coaches in the octagon to celebrate. Before he can celebrate though, Romanov needs to win. King Kong is a top-notch finisher who is a dangerous mix of strength and athleticism. While his striking has improved, he wants to get the fight to the ground as fast as possible. Because of his athleticism, he’s found success fluidly moving in and taking his opponents to the mat. Once there, he lays heavily on his opponent, keeping his hips low, as he pummels them like, well, King Kong. He’s even double hammer-fisted an opponent while in full mount.
Once he hurts his foe enough, he quickly looks for the submission finish. Often hunting the neck, Romanov is adept at choking his opponent out in a variety of ways. He’s finished two fights by ramming his forearm into the throat of his grounded opponent until they tap. But, while Romanov has dominated on the ground, if he struggles for the takedown, we’ve seen him tagged on the feet and even taken down himself. In both cases though, he recovered well and later found the finish.
Vanderaa is much more of a typical heavyweight. He wants to keep the fight standing and let his strikes fly. Similar to his opponent, Vanderaa is athletic for his size, moves laterally well, and implements a kick-heavy approach. Defensively, Vanderaa relies more on his chin and movement than keeping up his guard. Fortunately for him, this tactic, although risky, has proved successful thus far. With a nearly even strike differential, Vanderaa’s success has come in one main way. His above-average cardio allows him to keep up a high pace and tire his opponents while landing a variety of strikes. A mix of cardio and power often makes for a quality fighter.
Romanov vs. Vanderaa prediction
In short, Romanov should win this fight. He is equally mobile to Vanderaa, has similar power, but has a massive advantage on the ground. Further, Vanderaa’s tendency to lean on leg kicks leaves him vulnerable to takedowns. I see Romanov catching a kick or rushing forward, getting a takedown, and finishing the fight quickly.
Prediction: Alexandr Romanov by first-round stoppage
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.