With wrestling distinctions being a common point of contention when discussing matchups like these, I thought it would be appropriate to use this section to break down some of the differences between freestyle wrestling and folk wrestling and how. it applies to combatants at hand.
While you may hear descriptors like “world class” being praised to acrobatic wrestlers like Romero for his Olympic-level accolades, many would argue that the folk wrestling used at the college level in the United States translates best into bouts. mixed martial arts. arts because of its long-standing emphasis on control.
This, of course, encourages and cultivates both a different brand of positional players and jammers, as this style of driving and control can interact well with mat wrestling and the jiu-jitsu meta games that are common in MMA. .
Luckily for Davis, his sensibility to folk style quickly translated into the grappling part of the fighting game. A Penn State All-American wrestler who won an NCAA title in 2008, Davis has shown creativity and technical means to capitalize on his dominance.
One of my top 5 MMA mat wrestlers for work he did early in his career, Davis seamlessly uses driving positions to incorporate other methods of control. Whether Davis is hitting cradles to counter scuffles or breaking down posts while sucking wrists, the 13-year-old pro is no stranger to grabbing submissions but is perfectly content to play it safe as well.
– Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) April 13, 2021
While I could continue on my frustrations with Davis and his divergence from his fantastic wrestling skills, he has proven that he can still hit competently both in the open and against the fence whenever he wants. Davis seems to do his best when he strings a single because of the path it takes him to a bodylock – a position Davis celebrates in the form of relentless all-in returns.
Considering that acrobatic wrestlers, at least on paper, are more likely to expose their backs in MMA due to the nature of their exposure rules (as folkstyle has more wiggle room in this regard), then may – being that Davis can replicate some of the problems he predicted for other international wrestlers like Glover Teixeira.
That said, Romero does a solid job prioritizing denial of the head position using rigid frames to combat standing entries. And when opponents are able to get on their hips, the Cuban representative is usually quick to snap handles or rip kimura counters.
What makes many scratch their heads, however, is the fact that Romero – both early in his career and early in his fights – has a propensity to take takedowns that he shouldn’t be able to. -be not. For my money, I would say this is due to his competitive wiring for decades in freestyle wrestling.
Unlike folk-style wrestling (which discourages and deducts points for dropping out), the reward system and freestyle rule set arguably encourages dropping and opportunistic scoring. That, of course, could help explain the questionable lulls and late rallies that are riddled throughout Romero’s resume.
But regardless of any perceived stylistic superiority, I suspect both men will be nearly impossible to score in any meaningful way unless injured first. For this reason, I suspect that stylistic trends and general aging will keep the wrestling exchanges between these two short and sweet.