Many expected fireworks for UFC 248’s headliner between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero. Instead, fight fans saw very little action from both men through a 25-minute period.
“The Last Stylebender” was nonetheless proud of his performance, particularly with the damage he inflicted on Romero’s left leg. UFC president Dana White apparently saw it the same way, praising the reigning champion for his showing.
“I’m shocked that Romero knew this was his last opportunity at a world championship,” White told the media. “I thought he was gonna come out like a bat out of hell, put tons of pressure on him, shoot takedowns, you know, try to knock him out. He did literally none of that.
“So, if you’re Adesanya, he fought the smart fight. You stand in the outside, he chopped that leg apart, and he picked his punches and did what he did. Romero did a lot of moving around and acting like, ‘I’m trying to fight,’ but he never really did.”
As for Romero’s performance, White wasn’t too pleased.
“When the bell rang in the first round, just stood there with his hands up,” White said of Romero.
“You’re going in and facing the world champion. This is your last shot at a championship. You shouldn’t even be here getting this title fight, it should be Paulo Costa. If he didn’t get hurt, you don’t even get this opportunity.
“You go in, and you do everything you can to win that fight. He literally did none of that,” he added.
Adesanya won a unanimous decision verdict, as he keeps an undefeated record of 19-0 (14 wins by knockout).