Tonight Israel Adesanya headlined UFC 248 in a blockbuster showdown against Yoel Romero.
“The Last Stylebender” set out to defend his title for the first time since claiming it from Robert Whittaker at UFC 243. He achieved a statement victory by knocking-out the former champion in the second round. Tonight he intended on defeating “The Soldier of God” in a similar fashion. In a prior interview, the New Zealand fighter revealed his plans to counteract anything his Olympic wrestling opponent had to offer:
“I can control where the fight goes as well, ’cause of my footwork,” Adesanya said to Yahoo Sport. “Wrestling doesn’t always start straight away from the clinch. It starts from the feet, where you’re feet are placed, and he’s flatfooted. I am not, I have really good footwork, and also, when he gets his hands on you. It’s hard to get your hands on me when you can’t see me. He keeps saying ‘I see you soon boy.’ No, you won’t.”
In the main event of UFC 248, “The Last Stylebender’s” prophecy came true as he defeated his 42-year old opponent via unanimous decision. The slow-paced action left many fans wanting more, and Adesanya was left frustrated by his lack-lustre opponent:
“Its perspective, for real,” said Stylebender. “To be honest, ‘cos after the fight, I was really frustrated that my dance partner didn’t want to dance. You look at a guy like Kelvin Gastelum, he brought the fight. Robert Whittaker, he brought the fight. It takes two to tango, so if I’m trying to fight and you’re just standing there going ‘C’mon, c’mon, c’mon,’ that’s silly.
“I took his best shot in the first round. That might be the only round I gave him, and look, he has a good poker face. He’s playing like ‘oh yeah I’m not hurt.’ But, the legs didn’t lie, I f*cked his legs up. I touched him up, I cut him, just a little graze but yeah. I’ve never been in a boring fight. I don’t want to say it’s boring, but for me, I expected more of a fight from him.”
Watch Israel Adesanya’s full post-fight interview with the UFC’s Israel Adesanya:
— UFC News (@UFCNews) March 8, 2020