UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya views his fight with Yoel Romero as the lowest moment of his career.
‘The Last Stylebender’ met ‘Soldier of God’ in the main event of UFC 248 in March 2020. The headliner was set to be the first title defense for the recently-crowned champion Adesanya. Despite high expectations heading in, the matchup wasn’t a thriller as fans hoped.
The five-round affair saw both men be very, very timid during the contest. Romero spent the 25-minutes trying to find a big shot. Meanwhile, the champion’s best strikes came in the form of leg kicks, as he battered the Cuban’s front leg.
At the end of the main event, Israel Adesanya retained his title by unanimous decision. Despite winning the fight, the UFC middleweight champion believes the matchup was the worst moment of his MMA career.
On his YouTube channel, the 33-year-old revealed his thoughts on the fight. Adesanya stated that most of his frustration deals with the fan reaction to the contest. While he’s used to receiving hate these days, it caught him off-guard back in March 2020.
“If I’m being honest, the [Yoel] Romero fight. Because that was the first time people were just like, ‘Ah, boring.’ He had another fight after me and he did the same thing. The smart people were like, ‘Ah, Israel was right. He’s doing the exact same thing.’ Cause he knew if he made a move against me the wrong way, I was gonna catch him.” (h/t MMAFighting)
“Bits of this reared its ugly head [later on] but I squash it now cause I’m a dog and I know how to handle it,” Adesanya said. “But after that fight, I was like, ‘I was fighting, he was just standing there, why are you blaming me?’ That’s why this now, I’m like whatever. I know what I’m gonna do. But that was my first time where I kind of felt like yuck, I hate to say it, ‘The fans turned on me’ in a way, where I was like, ‘Wait what? Now they’re saying I’m s—t. Did you not watch the one before this? The one before-before that?’
Israel Adesanya concluded, “That was like the worst for me. It wasn’t the ‘worst,’ but it was just the narrative and the voices that were loud. They were probably the minority but they were the loudest voices — the eat-ass c***s. That’s why I went into that Costa fight just free like, I’m gonna show you what’s up.”
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