After traveling 7,000 miles and with only three days to train for his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut, Guam’s Roque Martinez (15-6-2) suffered a second-round loss to Alexandr “King Kong” Romanov (12-0-0).
UFC Fight Night 177, which occurred early Sunday morning, Guam time, was held without a crowd at the UFC Apex Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Before the heavyweight bout, Martinez had told the Post that he felt a stand-up tactic suit him best against Romanov, a celebrated wrestler from Moldova who was also making his UFC debut.
After a few takedowns, which Martinez countered, returning to his feet, the undefeated Moldovan applied an arm triangle at 4:22 into Round 2, causing a submission. For nearly the entire round, Romanov remained in the top guard position.
Early in Round 1, Romanov slammed Martinez to the mat as the 34-year-old Tamuning resident tried to fend off a flurry of hammer fists to the side of the head.
After a third takedown, Romanov stayed on top of Martinez but a strong defense against single and double hammer fists countered the attack.
In Round 1, with only three seconds left, Martinez appeared to tap out, but the referee’s line of sight was hindered and the bell ended the first frame.
Romanov, in broken English, in a postfight interview appearing on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel, said, “Hello everyone, I feel very well because my victory was very quickly and I am ready to next fight, and I am ready on next Saturday, no problem.”