Israel Adesanya will make his first defence of the 185lb belt against Yoel Romero
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against Yoel “Soldier Of God” Romero at UFC 248. The fight will headline the event taking place on March 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card streams on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN/ESPN+
The fight has long been talked about since the champion mentioned he’d like to fight the Cuban to cement his legacy at 185lbs. The pair then engaged in some back and forth on social media, before the negotiations began.
Two weeks back Adesanya told Ariel Helwani the fight was done, he said.
“The fight’s done. Make no mistake, I’m still putting work in. I’m still getting ready for my second title defense against a veteran (Romero) of the game. A veteran in wrestling, a tough motherf***er, the boogeyman of the division. The guy nobody calls out.”
But now its finally official and less than two months away. “The Last Stylebender” enters the fight for the first time as champion. He enjoyed a standout year in 2019. First beating MMA legend Anderson Silva in a fight of the night at UFC 234. He then put on the fight of the year, beating Kelvin Gastelum in a five-round war for the 185lb belt. Next came the big one against long time champion Robert Whittaker. In front a record breaking 56,000 people Adesanya made quick work of his opponent, getting the TKO finish in the second round. Now the champion he’s looking to fight the scariest guys available. In steps 42-year-old phenom Romero.
The Olympic silver medalist is currently riding a two-fight losing streak after suffering defeats to Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa. To see someone, get a title shot in this situation is unprecedented but makes sense when you know more about the landscape at 185lb. Firstly both his losses where highly contested fight of the nights, which could have gone either way. He was unlucky not to win at least one, if not both of these fights. Costa would have been next in line but is currently out with a long-term injury.
So, lucky MMA fans get to see Romero throw down, with Adesanya in an epic five-round fight. Hold onto your hats, UFC 248 on March 7, is going to be crazy!