Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight championship belt via unanimous decision against Yoel Romero tonight. However, UFC 248 is one of the biggest disappointments of the season, and the fans undoubtedly showed that following the fight. The booes were never louder at one UFC spectacle in recent times.
“The people paid for pay-per-view, but not for this,” Romero stated following the event, accusing Adesanya that he avoided a direct action and that he ran away from him. “You need to have respect for people. People paid for a pay-per-view, for what? For a fight.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 8, 2020
Adesanya (19-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) won 48-47, 48-47, 49-46, according to the scorecards, but that is also controversial because Romero (13-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) wasn’t that inferior at all. Furthermore, he had more clean hits than the champion. Adesanya was chopping Yoel’s right leg, but even that is doubtful because that didn’t slow down the Cuban. According to all of the experts, Romero got the first two rounds, and that is why the judges’ scoring was a bit odd.
Romero was waiting for a chance to strike from counter-attacks and barely moved at all. In the first minute, the two fighters were standing in the middle of the ring, measuring one another. The fans were a bit annoyed, and we heard a few booes, which eventually became louder and more frequent.
The one time Adesanya’s patience ran out and once he tried to attack the Cuban ended with Romero’s ferocious overhead left, which ended right on the opponent’s head. Something similar happened in the second, once he again landed a hard left to Adesanya’s face, and that was pretty much all the action worth mentioning. Apart from that one, several low kicks, neither of them important, were all that these two guys provided.
— MMA India (@MMAIndiaShow) March 8, 2020
The third sequence saw Adesanya improving and sending several body kicks. He had a bit of initiative but nothing special. The overall impression was that he won the round, but not that convincingly.
The fourth started with the judge in the ring telling both fighters to start producing some action and to give some material for scoring. This kind of woke up both fighters, but eventually, the tempo deflated, and it stopped when Adesanya unintentionally poked Romero in the eye. Immediately afterward, he went for a takedown, but Adesanya got away. The Nigerian struck Romero’s left leg a couple of times, but that was it. In the late part of the round, Romero burst tried to go for another takedown, landed a couple of mild punches, but without a significant result.
“I did what I had to do and picked him apart,” Adesanya said. “The legs don’t lie. I f—ed his leg up.”
The last round saw Romero pressuring Adesanya in the late part of the same, neutralizing his leg kicks with a few solid strikes, which forced the Nigerian to go backward. Those punches to the head were rare but noticeable each time.
Following the fight, Adesanya told Paulo Costa to be prepared for their clash, and the trash-talked a lot, threatening to the Brazilian. Romero received more love from the crowd than the winner, however, and while his rival heard booes, the Cuban was greeted well.
“This is my victory,” he stated.
That was all from the main event of the UFC 248, arguably the biggest disappointment in the last few years.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.