UFC 248 | Adesanya Vs Romero – UFC Middleweight Championship
Tale of the tape
|Israel “The last Stylebender” Adesanya||Name||Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero|
|18 – 0||MMA Record||26 – 7 – 0 – 1 NC|
|Champion (MW)||Rank||#5 (MW)|
|1.93 m||Height||1.83 m|
|184.5 lbs||Weight||185 lbs|
The Main Event of UFC 248 features an unlikely yet highly exciting matchup with the UFC middleweight championship on the line. Adesanya was originally scheduled to defend his title against Romero’s most recent foe, Paolo Costa. But when that fight fell through due to injury, the stylebender then set his sights on the divisions dark horse, a fighter feared by most in the middleweight division, the Cuban missile crisis, Yoel Romero.
Even though his is the current middleweight title holder, Israel Adesanya believes that he needs a win over Romero to solidify his legacy, silence the naysayers and convert what is left of the non-believers that he is undoubtedly the best Middleweight on the planet.
Before commencing his MMA career, “The Stylebender” was a two-division kickboxing world champion. Prior to entering the UFC octagon, Adesanya held a pro MMA record of 11 – 0 with 11 finishes.
He then went on to defeat many high-profile opponents such as Derek Brunson and Anderson Silva before having an all-out war vs Kelvin Gastelum where he displayed his toughness and earned himself the interim middleweight strap.
His next matchup was a title unification bout vs Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker”, a champion who has fought Yoel Romero for 10 rounds in two successful title defenses. It only took two rounds for Adesanya to defeat the Australian champ.
For those of you that don’t know, Yoel Romero is a decorated Olympic silver medalist in wrestling who converted himself into an unorthodox KO artist. Although Romero has been unsuccessful in his last two bouts, many fans argue that the decisions could have gone either way, and despite his age, he remains ever-dangerous.
His most recent fight versus Paulo Costa was absolute chaos from the get-go and an instant classic. This upcoming title fight is Yoel’s 3rd chance to win UFC gold (4th if we count the interim title fight vs Luke Rockhold where Romero missed weight and was no longer eligible to win a championship), this may be his last chance at UFC gold and he is expected to perform as such.
When it comes to this fight prediction, the words “be careful what you wish for” keep coming to mind when I think of Adesanya’s gutsy request to defend his title against the feared Romero. I strongly believe that although Israel Adesanya possesses elite level kickboxing abilities, it will be his ability to sprawl and get back to his feet quickly that could end up being the deciding factor this time around.
I see Yoel entertaining the kickboxing match with Adesanya for a little while, most probably until the 3rd round before he goes in for the kill.
For Adesanya I could only image that the best game-plan would have to have would be to drag Yoel into the deep waters of the championship rounds and look to be the first ever fighter to finish the Cuban powerhouse.
Prediction: Yoel Romero via KO/TKO in round 3
Co-Main Event – Weili Zhang vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk – Strawweight Championship
Tale of the tape
|Weili Zhang||Name||Joanna Jedrzejczyk|
|Champion (SW)||Rank||#5 (SW)|
The co-main event of UFC 248 is a matchup between two of the best female fighters to ever grace the UFC strawweight division.
The challenger, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was the longest reigning champion in the divisions history and held the title for 966 days, a record which is yet to be beaten.
Since she lost her title 850 plus days ago, there have been 3 new champions in the women’s straw-weight division; “Thug” Rose Namajunas, Jessica Andrade, and last but not least her next opponent and toughest challenge to date, the first ever Chinese UFC champion, Weili Zhang.
After a recent win over Michelle Waterson, Joanna looks to take back what she believes has always been hers, the UFC strawweight title. She possesses elite striking skills and is very good at keeping the fight where she performs best; on the feet. Due to her opponents’ knockout power, I can see Joanna having to fight while moving backwards for most of the fight and not try to look for the finish.
If Joanna puts on a performance similar to the one she had in her fight vs Jessica Andrade, then Weili Zhang could be in for a long and frustrating night. What I’m trying to say basically is that I think Joanna’s best road to victory would be to out-point her opponent.
When it comes to the champion Weili Zhang, any of her social media followers know that she spends most of her everyday life in the gym where she displays great discipline and a strong work ethic. For her most recent training camp, Zhang had to move to Thailand due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Although she has been in the UFC for just under two years, I believe Weili Zhang is on another level from every other fighter in the straw-weight division and will hold on to the belt for a very long time. At the ceremonial weight ins, Zhang told the fans “don’t blink, I could knock her out at any second of the fight”.
Prediction: Weili Zhang via KO / TKO in round 3
Rest of Main card Predictions
Beneil Dariush (-164) vs Drakkar Klose (+136)
Prediction: Drakkar Klose via decision.
Neil Magny (+146) vs Li Jingliang (-175)
Prediction: Li Jingliang via KO/TKO in round 3
Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira (-148) vs Max Griffin (+123)
Prediction: Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira via KO/TKO in round 2
Jose Alberto Quinonez (+251) vs Sean O’Malley (-320)
Prediction: Sean O’Malley via KO/TKO in round 1
Austin Hubbard (+182) vs Mark O. Madsen (-224)
Prediction: Mark O. Madsen via KO/TKO in round 1
Rodolfo Viera (-774) vs Saparbek Safarov (+516)
Prediction: Rodolfo Viera via Submission in Round 1
Gerald Meerschaert (+120) vs Deron Winn (-146)
Prediction: Gerald Meerschaert via decision.
Emily Whitmire (-120) vs Polyana Viana (-104)
Prediction: Polyana Viana via decision.
Jamal Emmers (-200) vs Giga Chikadze (+150)
Prediction: Jamal Emmers via KO/TKO in round 1
Guido Cannetti (+119) vs Danaa Batgerel (-146)
Prediction: Danaa Batgerel via KO/TKO in round 1