주요 콘텐츠로 건너뛰기
Alexandr Romanov of Moldova looks on during a fight against Marcin Tybura of Poland in a heavyweight bout during UFC 278 at Vivint Arena on August 20, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Athletes

Alexandr Romanov Eliminated All Distractions

Heavyweight Alexandr Romanov Found Support Through A New Team And Reliable Supporters Ahead Of Co-Main Event Bout Against Alexander Volkov At UFC Fight Night: Yan vs Dvalishvili

Back in August, then-undefeated heavyweight Alexandr Romanov put his 16-0 record on the line against his first UFC Top 10 opponent in Marcin Tybura at UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 in Salt Lake City.

Everything was going to plan through the first five minutes; Romanov continuously clinched with Tybura, dragging him down to the mat every chance he could. “King Kong” was 100 percent certain that he’d done enough throughout the opening frame to earn himself a 10-8 on the judges’ scorecards, and that  back-and-forth second and third rounds wouldn’t stop him from getting the victory. Only one judge agreed.

How To Watch Power Slap 1

“The biggest thing I was surprised about was the decision of the judges,” Romanov said. “When I look back at that fight, the first round, I’m very sure that I won that 10-8. The second and third round were pretty close, so at the end when his arm was raised and not mine, I was really surprised.

“It made me stronger, it gave me more desire to move forward and get stronger and improve on all the skills that I have [and] I think I’ve done that. I’m going to keep moving forward, keep my head up high and be proud.”

Alexandr Romanov of Moldova throws Roque Martinez of Guam to the mat in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Alexandr Romanov of Moldova throws Roque Martinez of Guam to the mat in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


One judge gave that first round a 10-8, while all three favored Tybura in the final two rounds, handing him a majority decision win and leaving Romanov with the first blemish on his record. When he got home and settled back into training, Romanov didn’t have the same supporting cast alongside him.

Saturday's Full Fight Card Breakdown

Instead of sitting in the film room, analyzing what went wrong in his latest fight and working to improve his game with the coaches he’s been with throughout his career, Romanov was forced to make an immediate and urgent change.

Romanov’s head coach moved to Russia, where he planned on coaching full-time, leaving Romanov with a decision to make. Rather than following his coach, Romanov stayed put in Moldova, found new leadership and an entirely new way of training that he believes elevated his game to the next level.

“Everything cordially changed,” Romanov said regarding his training since suffering his first professional loss. “I changed all my coaches. I changed my camp complete. I changed my team. Everything is much different. I think I got stronger, I think I got more advanced and I think this new and improved version of ‘King Kong’ will really satisfy [fans].

Alexandr Romanov Locks Up First-Round Americana | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera
fight pass logo
Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

This video is not available in your country

There was a problem while loading content. Please try again.

Alexandr Romanov Locks Up First-Round Americana | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera
/

“It just happened by chance. It all kind of fell into place. My coach decided to go to Russia and coach there, so I didn’t lose myself. I quickly regrouped and found a new coach, a really big specialist, somebody who completely and totally changed my approach to training, somebody who made me stronger in my punching and my striking [and] somebody who improved me in a lot of areas I was lacking in. I feel much better prepared, and we’ll see what happens on Saturday.”

RELATED: Alexander Volkov is Breaking Out Of His Comfort Zone

Not only did his head coach part ways, so did the entourage of supporters that were behind him throughout his career. Despite suffering just his first loss in 17 fights, the loss showed Romanov the true colors of some of his followers. In the seven months since that bout, “King Kong” filtered out those who were only alongside him for the success and not the adversity.

“In Russia, we have this saying that, ‘Victory has lots of parents while defeat is an orphan,’ so you really understand who the people are who want to stay with you and who [don’t]. You understand which people you want to keep around and which not. After that loss, a lot of people who were kind of fillers, they fell off. People who weren’t real and weren’t there for me. The only people that stayed are the true ones; my family, my [new] team and the support of my country that I really feel are still behind me and for that I’m very thankful. So, now it’s easier for me to breath, easier to move forward because I don’t have any distractions from the people who are not really there for me.”  

Order UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman 3

Without these distractions, Romanov has been able to focus solely on the task at hand: defeating Top 10 opponent Alexander Volkov in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night: Yan vs Dvalishvili. Volkov’s 46 professional fights outshines Romanov’s 17, and the Moldovan knows not to undervalue how beneficial that experience is for “Drago.”

WATCH: Laura Sanko Reflects On Her Journey To History

But even with only six UFC fights under his belt, Romanov believes his skill set is right up there with the best in the division and shouldn’t be considered anything below elite, and he’s determined to prove that to any doubters throughout his journey to becoming the champion.

Alexandr Romanov of Moldova celebrates his TKO victory over Jared Vanderaa in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX

Alexandr Romanov of Moldova celebrates his TKO victory over Jared Vanderaa in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


“I’ve been following Volkov’s career for a long time,” Romanov said. “He’s had a lot of fights in the UFC and a lot of fights outside of the organization so if you’re going to underestimate him, you got to be stupid. That’s not something I’m going to do. I really have studied him with my coaches; we really dissected everything about him. We’ve worked on mistakes from my previous fight… worked on the things that needed to be improved. I wanted to test myself as well. I think it’s a great opportunity to get into the Top 10 with this fight so I’m ready to show what I’m capable of.

“I still believe that I deserve to be called elite in this organization. I still believe that my goal never changed: I have to be at the top of this Olympus, the top of this mountain with the belt around my waist. On Saturday I think it’s a good opportunity for me to show myself, to show I belong and that I deserve to get to the top as soon as possible.”

Watch Power Slap 1 March 11 on Rumble

UFC Fight Night: Yan vs Dvalishvili took place live from The Theater At Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on March 11, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive all the action at UFC Fight Pass