UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero

The T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host another important UFC event . The UFC 248 will promote two title fights, in the medium and straws in duels that promise to be exciting. 

The main duel of the night will bring Israel Adesanya's first defense of the middleweight belt . The newly crowned unified champion will face a tough test in Yoel Romero . In the co-main event, China's Zhang Weili will also protect her reign for the first time in the strawweight division. Her opponent will be Joanna Jedrzejczyk , the greatest fighter in the category's history.

Other interesting fights will also move the main card . At lightweight, Beneil Dariush faces Drakkar Klose and could be worth a place in the top 15. In addition, the welterweight openers, with duels between  Neil Magny  and  Li Jingliang and between Brazilian  Alex Cowboy and  Max Griffin .

UFC 248 will start at 11:30 pm with the preliminary card and the main portion of the event is scheduled to air around midnight, always following. 

Israel Adesanya's rise (18-0 in MMA, 7-0 in the UFC) towards the UFC belt was scary. In a period of about 20 months he went from rookie to champion after evolving at a resounding pace. In 2019, he overcame his idol Anderson Silva, won the interim title in one of the best fights of the year against Kelvin Gastelum and unified his reign by knocking out Robert Whittaker.

Elite kickboxer, Adesanya is at a different level when it comes to striking in MMA. His offensive arsenal is complete, with the ability to conduct combat or counterattack. The control of the distance is done with mastery thanks to a strong game of jabs and precise leg work that make use of the arms and long legs. His defense is usually more reactive with dodges than proactive, in general, but he showed good signs of becoming more complete in the duel against Whittaker. In addition, he also exhibited an improved ability to see during the shooting at close range, as was the case in the sequence in which he got the knockout that earned him the belt. On the other hand, he still seems to be excessively comfortable on some occasions, which can be a considerable danger against this Saturday's opponent.

In the grappling fight, Israel began his career suffering against wrestlers who did not have great capacity, like Rob Wilkinson and Marvin Vettori. However, it evolved in hand combat in the clinch and uses knees as great weapons. When he falls with his back to the ground, he usually seeks space to get up quickly and does not accept the guard game. The defense has shown itself enough so far, but it will be ahead of the most skilled wrestler so far.

Coming from two straight losses, Yoel Romero (13-4 in MMA, 9-3 in the UFC) was a controversial choice to be Adesanya's first challenger. The negative results came in wars against Robert Whittaker and Paulo Borrachinha. However, as the Brazilian is recovering from injury, Romero was in fact, in terms of marriage, the most interesting confrontation for the champion.

One of the best who never won a high level belt, Romero has already shown several skills throughout his career. He was an elite wrestler , including an Olympic silver medal and a world title. Its main feature is the explosion to cover ground in short spaces of time and enter the legs of opponents. He has already shown his ability in the fight against Brad Tavares, but in general uses the takedowns as a complementary point of the approach. When he is on the ground, he usually attacks with power and seeks interruptions. However, positional control often falls short.

Despite all the history in wrestling , Romero's preference is in the standing fight. He is a cautious fighter, who likes to use feints and collect a lot of information about opponents' reactions. When he thinks he has already mapped his opponent, he attacks with explosiveness and defining power. Capable of knocking out with punches, elbows or knees, he has also shown signs that he can seek an approach a little different from traditional single strokes. Against Borrachinha, he attacked more in combinations and exerting pressure, something he had not done often before.

This is an extremely intriguing duel. As much as Romero is not the most deserving of the title dispute at the moment, fate has given us an excellent wedding that should yield great moments.

Both are adept at collecting multiple readings and are not the fastest fighters at the start of combat. However, Adesanya must take the initiative to lead the duel. The greater volume of the Nigerian should remain throughout the fight. The problem lies in the instant that Romero starts to move forward, since if Israel is too comfortable, it can leave loopholes. If the Cuban finds the champion's chin, no one doubts his ability to knock him out. In addition, Yoel may cause Adesanya to be afraid by threatening to fall, which may make the Nigerian's trigger more timid.

That said, the expectation is that greater consistency in terms of Adesanya's volume and a higher defensive care will lead him to win more rounds and leave with the victory by decision. However, this should not come without scares and Romero is definitely a living underdog in combat. 

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