The top of the UFC 248 billing just endured a lackluster middleweight title fight between the defending king, Israel Adesanya, and the challenger, Yoel Romero. There was more feeling out going on than anything else, giving the crowd plenty to boo about. Nonetheless, Adesanya got the win to keep his belt. This is likely the last time we’ll see Romero challenge for the 185-pound crown.
Romero oddly stood still in a defensive shell to start the bout, with Adesanya keeping a lot of distance. This carried on for almost two-and-a-half minutes. They exchanged leg kicks, and went back to measuring. Romero threw on punch that connected, causing Adesanya to blink a bit with his left eye. Not a lot happened this round, like at all.
Romero opens the second act with a massive left hand to back off the champ. Adesanya started to attack with a variety of kicks, ever so cautiously. Tons of calculating was going on, until Romero blitzed into the clinch and landed a series of mauling blows. Adesanya returned to open space and the pace simmered back down. Adesanya went back to his kicks, attacking the leg and the head.
The beyond slow pace leaked into the third round. Both men kept their distance. Adesanya stuck with his kicks, attacking from the outside. Romero threw a few kicks himself, but wasn’t really landing. Adesanya began to score a couple of straight strikes before the bell.
The referee warned both fighters before the fourth round, instructing them to give the judges something to score. Adesanya landed a couple of leg kicks here and there as Romero slowly stalked forward. Just when the fight couldn’t get anymore dull, Adesanya accidentally poked Romero in the eye. Upon the restart, Romero blasted a takedown, but Adesanya popped right back up. The crawling pace unfortunately continued. Off of a botched takedown, Romero connected with a set of punches just before the end of the round.
Romero was throwing more punches in the final frame, but the pace was still extremely slow. He definitely landed the better strikes in this round as Adesanya was playing keep-away. What a dud!