Israel Adesanya’s first title defense is set as he will headline UFC 248 against the man he has been calling out, Yoel Romero.
According to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Adesanya vs. Romero is official per UFC president, Dana White. TalkMMA (aka Dizz) on Twitter was first to report the fight was being targeted for this card.
BREAKING: Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) vs. Yoel Romero (@YoelRomeroMMA) will headline UFC 248 in Las Vegas per Dana White. Adesanya was itching to fight. Big one in the desert on March 7. pic.twitter.com/pnx6M5aNoW
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 17, 2020
Israel Adesanya is coming off a second-round TKO win over Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 to capture the middleweight title. Before that, he had a “Fight of the Year” contender against Kelvin Gastelum which he won by decision to claim the interim middleweight title. In 2019 he also beat Anderson Silva.
In “The Last Stylebender’s” UFC career he also has scored notable wins over Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, and Marvin Vettori.
Yoel Romero, meanwhile, is getting the title fight on a two-fight losing streak. In his last bout, he dropped a decision to Paulo Costa at UFC 241. Before that, he lost a decision to Robert Whittaker in a non-title bout because he missed weight.
Romero is one of the scariest fighters in the middleweight division but is just 1-3 in his last four contests overall and has missed weight in two of those bouts. Romero does have knockout wins over former champions in Luke Rockhold, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman on his resume.
Adesanya and Romero have been going back-and-forth at one another for a long time on social media ever since Costa got hurt. It even got to the point that The Last Stylebender said the fight was done. The injury to the Brazilain paved the way for Romero to step in.
UFC 248 goes down on March 7 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and also features Weili Zhang defending her strawweight title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Who do you think will win this fight between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero at UFC 248? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/16/2020.