“Pezao” and Romanov were supposed to fight on Sept. 5 in Las Vegas, but the fight got scratched hours before start of the UFC Fight Night card when the Brazilian tested positive for COVID-19. Romanov tapped Roque Martinez in his UFC debut a week later and was again selected as his opponent for this weekend’s show at the UFC APEX.
De Lima, who was obviously frustrated with the initial cancellation, felt “really bad” for four days due to the viral infection, but is back to “100 percent” going into his 11th octagon appearance.
“Romanov has good wrestling and does that game really well,” de Lima said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “He has a lot of submissions, but he doesn’t have good jiu-jitsu. He gets to the positions and just tires people out.”
Romanov built the majority of his record competing under the Eagles Fighting Championship banner in his home country of Moldova, and Pezao feels that his 12-0 record gives the wrong impression about his actual skill set.
“Looking at his career, I’m the first tough opponent he’s facing,” de Lima said. “If you watch the other athletes he’s fought, they are good athletes but not that tough. I have good striking, good wrestling, good jiu-jitsu, a complete game, and no one he’s fought had a complete game. His record was kind of padded, you know?
“I’ve fought guys that are way tougher than him but he’s never fought someone as tough as me. He only fought in [Moldova] and that’s what people usually do over there in Russia, Ukraine… That motivates me. I’m feeling great for this fight.”
Back to the heavyweight division after competing at 205 pounds for a large portion of his UFC career, Pezao aims to secure his first winning streak since his first days in the promotion in 2014.
De Lima is “ready for everything” and predicts a knockout finish Saturday, hoping to get a date with No. 15-ranked Marcin Tybura next. Tybura went 3-0 in 2020 with wins over Sergey Spivak, Maxim Grishin and Ben Rothwell.
“There’s a lot of young talent in the heavyweight division and I still have a lot of wood to burn,” said the 35-year-old Brazilian. “I see myself winning this fight and… Tybura called me out some time ago and I said yes, but the fight didn’t happen. He’s coming off wins and so am I, and I think it’s a good matchup for me.”
Published at Sat, 07 Nov 2020 20:00:00 +0000