Israel Adesanya slams Yoel Romero for ruining “gifted” UFC 248 title shot

Israel Adesanya, Kobe Bryant
Image via @stylebender on Instagram (photographer not listed)

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has slammed contender Yoel Romero for a poor performance in their title fight at UFC 248.

Adesanya and Romero put on one of the worst title fights in UFC history as both men refused to engage with each other and each showed a shocking lack of aggressiveness in the bout. The fight went the full five-round distance, with Adesanya slightly outpointing Romero to retain his title by unanimous decision in a fight MMA fans found boring to watch.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the Monday after the fight, Adesanya slammed Romero for blowing his title fight opportunity. Despite Romero losing his last two fights, the UFC still gave him the title shot because Adesanya asked for the fight. Instead of pushing the action, Romero didn’t do much of anything, and Adesanya is upset with his opponent.

“I love fighting, this is what I love to do. So after the fight, I was frustrated, I was like, ‘You’re going to act like that?’ Me and him know you can act all you want, you can try to get the crowd on the side all you want bro. Me and him know, me and him know who pushed that fight, me and him know who was scoring in that fight. So I mean, he has to live with this for the rest of his life,” Adesanya said.

“He had one more shot at this belt. He didn’t even deserve to be in there with me. He had no right to be in there with me. But I gave him the shot because I thought, ‘Ok, this is the guy that everyone’s scared of, everyone doesn’t want to fight, let me see what this hype is about.’ So I called him out, I gave him the shot after going on a three-fight losing streak, it was a gift from me. So the fact that he approached the fight like that, it will be his last title shot. It’s something he’s going to have to live with for the rest of his life.

Do you agree with what Israel Adesanya said about Yoel Romero?