UFC 248 couple of months ago featured a middleweight title fight between champ Israel Adesanya and multiple tile challenger Yoel Romero.
The fight had ‘slug fest’ and a war written all over it. Adesanya being a kickboxing wizard, was expected to showcase his technical pedigree. Romero on the other hand, had eight bonues in his 12 fights inside the octagon. On top of that, he was coming of his two infamous wars against Robert Whittaker and one against Paulo Costa.
The fight, on paper, promised fireworks. However unfortunately, the fight panned out exactly the opposite. Neither of the fighters engaged, which led to an uneventful fight across 25 minutes. Both the fighters especially Adesanya, received criticism for being hesitant to pull the trigger. However speaking with MMA Fighting, Adesanya claimed it was Romero who refused to throw any offense.
“I was there to fight,” Adesanya told MMA Fighting. “I was there actually attacking, probing, being smart about it. His first chance was when he actually punched my eyeball and sent my eyeball into the back of my skull. That was his chance. Anyone could see, ‘He’s compromised, attack the guy, he’s compromised,’ but he stood there still for like another two minutes.
“That just showed me he didn’t want to fight. He was just hoping I’d make the same mistake twice. I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. It was like he was expecting me to stand there and get hit. Bro, you stood there, you forced my hand to move, I made a mistake. I got a hard head, he didn’t drop me. That hit me in the eye completely. Did not wobble me. Did not shake me. Did not rock me. Did not drop me.”
Adesanya was aware of Romero’s explosive power. Romero on the other hand, kept an eye on Adesanya’s strength of catching his opponent while they close the distance. The strategy does seem justifiable however fans expect at least some entertainment that too with the likes of the two.
Adesanya will look to use this criticism as fuel for his fire and look to ‘erase’ his next assignment Paulo Costa from ranks of the undefeated.