In news that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, newly-crowned UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has opened as the betting favorite over Yoel Romero ahead of their proposed middleweight title bout at UFC 248 which, according to Adesanya, is a done deal.
Betting Insider Journal lists ‘The Last Stylebender’ as a -174 favorite over +142 underdog ‘Soldier of God’, which means Adesanya has a 63.5 percent chance of retaining his middleweight title at UFC 248, according to the bookies.
Adesanya, 30, last fought at UFC 243, where he KO’d Robert Whittaker to unify the middleweight titles. The Nigerian-New Zealander was originally expected to defend his 185-pound strap against Paulo Costa but the Brazilian was forced out of the bout due to injury and is expected to be sidelined until mid-2020.
Romero, who dropped a unanimous decision to Costa in a thrilling Fight of the Night contest at UFC 241, is just 1-3 in his last four bouts but the Olympic silver medallist is still considered one of the most dangerous contenders in the middleweight division and currently ranked #3 in the official UFC rankings.
UFC 248, which is expected to feature Adesanya vs. Costa as the main event, takes place later this year, March 7 at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.