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UFC Stylebender Israel Adesnaya gets his victory title defence win against Yoel Romero

Israel Adesnaya and Yoel Romero barely touched each other during their title fight, but the Last Stylebender did enough to retain his middleweight crown.

UFC boss Dana White admits Israel Adesanya’s successful middleweight title defence against Yoel Romero “sucked”.

Adesanya scored a tame points win over Romero at UFaca248 in Las Vegas on Sunday evening (NZT) in a fight that had fans booing at the venue.

White put the lacklustre main card event down to two things – Romero not wanting to engage and the fight following immediately after strawweight champion Zhang weili retained her belt over Joanna jedrzjczyk in arguably the UFC’s best women’s title fight.

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya seems to get more of a response from Yoel Romero after their lacklustre fight finished in Las Vegas.
APUFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya seems to get more of a response from Yoel Romero after their lacklustre fight finished in Las Vegas.

“Listen guys, the fight sucked,” White said of Adesanya’s unanimous points win concluded.

ght finished in Las Vegas.

“Listen guys, the fight sucked,” White said of Adesanya’s unanimous points win concluded.

“But you just came off the craziest s*** you ever seen in your life. The energy in that building was through the roof. Those guys, they were walking into a no win situation as it was.

“I don’t think it was so bad that ‘God, the ref should have done this,’ I thought the ref did a good job. There were a couple times when they weren’t engaging and that was probably when he told them to fight, but … tough act to follow. After watching that last fight, it was a tough situation for both of them to be in

“But yes, the fight sucked.

“If you look at the UFC as a whole for as long as we’ve been doing it, you can literally put in one hand the s***ty fights that we’ve done.”

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on the attack against Yoel Romero.
L.E. BASKOW/APUFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on the attack against Yoel Romero.

But White was hugely disappointed with Romero’s attitude.

“It takes two to fight, man. If somebody goes out there and doesn’t want to engage and doesn’t want to fight … and if you’re a guy like Adesanya, you’ve got so much more on the line. This is the way the guys acting? He’s gonna stay back and pick him apart the way he did. That leg was destroyed,” White said of Adesanya fighting from a distance and attacking Romero’s legs.

“‘The Soldier of God’ has been known to switch between passive and aggressive in the past, but never to the degree he did against Adesanya. Romero threw just 89 strikes across five rounds. Adesanya responded with a similarly anemic 132 strikes thrown.

“I’m shocked that Romero knew this was his last opportunity at a world championship. I thought he was going to come out like a bat out of hell, put tons of pressure on him, shoot takedowns, try to knock him out. He did literally none of that.

“So if you’re Adesanya, he fought the smart fight. He stood on the outside and chopped that leg apart. He picked his punches and did what he did. Romero did a lot of moving around and acting like he was trying to fight, but he never did.

“Right from the bell he just came out and stood there with his hands up. Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I thought he was going to come out like a madman. Yeah, this was a terrible fight.”

White is picking much more action if Adesanya defends his title against Paulo Costa.

Costa was cageside in Las Vegas and was forcibly removed at the end after he jumped the crowd barrier to try to get to Adesanya after his win.

“When I’m sitting here today talking about this, the matchmakers didn’t love that [Romero] fight and didn’t want to make that fight,” White admitted.

“They did not want to make Adesanya vs. Romero. But the goofy fan in me said ‘Are you s***ting me? Come on. This will be a fun fight to do. And the fact that he wants to fight a guy that nobody else wants to fight? Now … hindsight is 20/20. We shouldn’t have done that fight. We should have waited for Costa. Oh well. We did it.

“The Costa fight is going to be insane. The Costa fight will be ridiculous. Costa will come forward, he will throw big punches, he will throw combinations. He will not stop punching. And Israel Adesanya’s going to have to fight him.

“I’m telling you right now just like I told you Zhang v Joanna was going to be insane? Costa v Adesanya will be a ridiculous fight. I guarantee it. I absolutely positively guarantee it

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