Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya defended his UFC Middleweight Championship against Yoel Romero in a unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena.
It wasn’t an ecstatic performance fans were hoping to witness, however, Israel Adesanya remains the UFC Middleweight Champion.
The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46. Adesanya and Romero combined for only 88 significant strikes.
“I did what I had to do and picked him apart,” Adesanya said. “The legs don’t lie. I f***ed his leg up”.
Romero landed his best shot in the first round, while Adesanya landed leg kicks throughout the remaining rounds.
When the final bell rang, Adesanya and Romero went chest to chest as both were clearly frustrated and had to be separated by the referee Dan Miragliotta as the crowd showered them with jeers.
The fans booed throughout the result. “As long as the judges didn’t listen to the crowd, I was fine,” Adesanya retorted.
Romero explained after the fight saying: “it was my victory, fans who cheered me afterward seemed to agree”. Adesanya did outland Romero in three of the five rounds; the second, third and fourth, according to UFC Stats.
Eugene Bareman, Adesanya’s coach admitted that the middleweight division has more than one contender the champion should beat before looking beyond his division.
“There’s some really tough challenges Adesanya should clear out,” Bareman said on Submission Radio (h/t Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “There’s at least more than three good challenges. But three or four more fights for Israel is like, maybe within this year.”
“He has the potential to capture the imagination of MMA fandom in a way few fighters have been able to, but it all starts with picking up big wins in his own division like he did against Romero in Vegas”.