Tonight Yoel Romero faced Israel Adesanya for the promotions middleweight championship in the main event of UFC 248 in Las Vegas.
This wasn’t the first time Romero has fought for a title. He previously fought Robert Whittaker for the 185-pound interim belt. He lost by unanimous decision, but bounced back in his next Octagon appearance. He touched gloves with Luke Rockhold before starching him to achieve the third-round KO victory. Due to his Olympic wrestling background and knock-out power that he has used to finish former champions, the 42-year old is widely regarded the “boogeyman” of the middleweight division.
Israel Adesanya was more than aware of the threat that Romero posed. He believed the only way to seal his legacy at middleweight was to defeat the division’s boogeyman. However, “The Last Stylebender” assured fans he was not scared of the UFC veteran:
“It’s me versus the ‘oogie boogeyman’ Yoel Romero,” Adesanya said. “The guy that everyone’s scared of — especially Darren Till. You saw me call him out because I don’t have fear. Fear is different from danger, you have to understand. I’m a dangerous man. A lot of people fear him because of what they’ve been told or what they see in the media, but I’ve seen the guy bleed, I’ve seen him cheat, I’ve seen him hurt. I know he’s human and like I said, fear is different from danger and I’m a dangerous man.”
The highly anticipated middleweight title fight did not live up to expectations unfortunately. The fighters combined for just seven total landed strikes in round one and things didn’t exactly explode thereafter.
Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero would battle a full twenty-five minutes with limited action, leaving many fans and analysts questioning who had actually won the bout.
In the end, all three judges in attendance saw the contest in favor of ‘Stylebender’, much to the distain of the Cuban.
Yoel Romero discussed the loss in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
“This is my victory! Right here. You hear?” Romero pointed to the crowd. “That is my victory. That is my victory. I have one question for everybody here. I have a big respect for everybody. For all athletes. But my question is, this is the champion of the UFC, of the world that you want? No! We want a fight. We wanted a fight that was wild. That is what they want to see here. Not like a running guy. No! The people want to see the real fight. That is what the people want to see here. (Israel Adesanya) was just running, running and running. That is not a big champion. The big champion wants to stand here in the middle and fight like a real champion. Like for the people in Rome. Like the Gladiator.”
Who would you like to see Yoel Romero fight next following his unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya at tonight’s UFC 248 event in Las Vegas? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com March 8, 2020