Fans were left disappointed with how UFC 248’s main event fight between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero went down. UFC president Dana White pinned the blame solely on Romero, but for the “Soldier of God,” it was because the champion was running “like Usain Bolt.”
On Monday, “The Last Stylebender” spoke on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show to give his own assessment roughly 48 hours later. One thing he did agree on was how much of a lackluster fight in turned out to be.
“One hundred percent, the weirdest fight I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “Even for me, as a fan, [it’s] the most boring fight I’ve ever had, and I don’t have boring fights. That’s not my style, that’s not my gig.
“You can just check my resumé and see that I come to fight. I’m not an actor. I’m a fighter.”
Almost no action took place during the first two minutes of the fight, but Romero kept himself on tight defense with his hands up. Adesanya also admitted he was a bit hesitant to fire a shot, knowing how his challenger tends to wait for that small opening to counter.
“For me, I was just thinking, ‘Don’t give in. Don’t get frustrated,’” he explained. “So now, I thought, ‘OK.’ It’s sounds stupid. There’s a guy standing there, not doing anything. You should go hit him, right?
“But, he’s not not doing anything. He’s a hundred percent defense, and he’s waiting for that split second so he could unload that knockout blow. And he did. At one point, I had my foot from the outside, I attacked with my foot on the inside.
“And then as soon as I blitz in, he lets go of that left hand and cracks me,” he continued. “Never rocked me, never hurt me, never dazed me, never flashed me. But he cracks me with this… and I could feel the thud. I was like, ‘Ooh, don’t get hit by that again.’”
Adesanya later stated that he was compromised by that one punch Romero threw in the early goings of the fight. What he was disappointed about was that his opponent didn’t follow through.
“When he cracked me, he hurt my eye. He compromised my eye (and) my vision,” he said. “I could see two Romeros. When Anderson Silva, who is an older guy as well, did that in the second round (of our fight), what did he do? He pressed the action. He came looking trying to finish. And I was on my bicycle and then I started countering, as well.
“If you visibly compromise someone or hurt someone, or hurt their vision, you’re not supposed to still just stand there and wait for them to come to you,” Adesanya continued. “I’m not stupid. After you just punch me, I’m not gonna be like, ‘Alright, let me do that again.’”
Adesanya won via a unanimous decision verdict to keep his title and undefeated record intact.