ISRAEL ADESANYA VS. YOEL ROMERO
The closer the fight got closer, the more defending champion Israel Adesanya explained why he chose Yoel Romero as the man he wanted to face in his first title defense, the more intriguing this fight was.
In less than two years, Adesanya went from its promotional debut (UFC 221) to the unification of the middleweight titles (UFC 243), posting a total of seven wins and scoring the two most important performances – his provisional victory over Kelvin Gastelum and his “Champion against Champion” fight with Robert Whittaker in Melbourne last fall.
Now he’s looking for Romero because (a) he’s the scariest contender in the division, whatever his recent results, (b) he wants to compete against the best opposition available, and (c) he’s motivated to become a Whittaker (1). and to a lesser extent Paulo Costa) by going there and finishing the ageless Cuban candidate.
No one has ever questioned Adesanya’s moxie, but you have to admit that calling Romero with designs to instantly cement your legacy in your first title defense is a brave endeavor that has the potential to turn terribly. bad Saturday night.
And that’s what makes the plot around this fight go up to 10.
In terms of recent results and consecutive wins and losses, Romero may not be the guy who should stand in front of Adesanya this weekend at T-Mobile Arena; but his three losses were close decisions and with Costa sidelined and Whittaker having been defeated in October, Romero is clearly the most established and dangerous opponent Adesanya can face in his first title defense.
There are few guys in the sport who have the kind of fast explosive athletics that the former Olympic wrestler brings with him in the cage and when he landed on the wrong side of the cards in three of his last four fights, Does anyone really feel comfortable suggesting that Romero is unable to beat Adesanya this weekend?
Neither do I.
This is intended to have a lasting impact on the heritage of the two men and should be an electric end to the festivities on Saturday evening.