The UFC hasn’t seen a rise to fame like Adesanya’s in some time. The Middleweight Champion has proven he is a unique breed of fighter who poses a new challenge for the division. We take a look at Sunday’s (08/3/2020) UFC 248 match which is between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero.
When: Sunday March 8, 3:00PM
Where: T-Mobile Arena
Bet: Bet On This Match HERE
To date, The Last Stylebender has shown he moves and strikes differently. As a result, he’s been able to create different angles through feints and traps to open up his precise striking.
These two fighters are cut from a different cloth. While Romero relies on short bursts of speed and explosiveness to deliver a devastating knockout, Adesanya likes to remain patient. Although Adesanya proved at UFC 243 that he does possess solid knockout power, his style is based on wearing his opponent down and causing plenty of damage. Despite Adesanya’s reach advantage, Romero possesses the explosiveness to negate this. As a result, Adesanya’s precise counter punching will be an important factor in him winning this fight.
Much has been said of Romero’s wrestling skills. An Olympic silver medalist in 2000, it seems likely that Romero will use this as his main weapon. Despite Romero’s wrestling pedigree, Adesanya’s takedown defense is very underrated. Less than two years into his UFC career, the current Middleweight King has an impressive 85.7% takedown defence record and will only improve with experience.
It is likely Romero will get this fight to the ground at least once. Although Romero’s wrestling may not influence this fight as much as expected.
The evolution of Adesanya has been something to behold. The Champion came into UFC a seasoned campaigner with over 80 kickboxing fights and 11 professional MMA fights. Since then, the improvements within his already well-rounded game have been impressive to say the least.
On his way to Championship glory, the most notable differences came between the Gastelum & Whittaker fights. The Gastelum bout was a straight up war and UFC had a new Middleweight Champion in Adesanya after five rounds of mayhem. While he left the octagon with the strap, Adesanya took a lot of damage. Although Adesanya had the physical advantages, he didn’t control the distance as well as he and his team would have liked. Gastelum was able to land heavy shots on Adesanya and he left looking worse for wear.
Fast forward to the Whittaker fight and Adesanya looked much more comfortable landing counters in the pocket against an aggressive Whittaker. While Whittaker found some success, the Nigerian native controlled the distance and avoided majority of Whittaker’s flurries. Against an explosive opponent like Romero, this will have been an important part of Adesanya’s camp. Although his movement should allow him to move out of range.
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Tip: Israel Adesanya at $1.38
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change