WATCH: Israel Adesanya Beats Yoel Romero in Bizarre Fight

By Darren
WATCH: Israel Adesanya Beats Yoel Romero in Bizarre Fight

You get the idea that this isn’t what Israel Adesanya was planning when he called out Yoel Romero. Alongside Francis Ngannou, ‘The Soldier of God’ is one of the most intimidating fighters on the roster. Not the best but definitely very scary. Everyone gave ‘The Last Stylebender’ kudos for his bravery.

However, in the end, everybody was scratching our heads after what we’d seen. It didn’t help that it came after arguably the best women’s MMA fight we’d ever seen. Adesanya walked away with his first successful title defense. But Romero managed to snatch the love from the Las Vegas crowd – even if he didn’t deserve it.

This was a fight where everybody was on the edge of their seats waiting for something insane to happen that never came. Adesanya basically outpointed Romero but spent most of the time circling away from him around the cage. Effective but not exactly fan-friendly.

Unexpected

It all started so promisingly. Adesanya walked out with two women wearing tribal dress who threw flowers on the ground upon each step he took. There was more action there than in the first round. Romero is a freak athlete who tends to fight slow and lull you into a false sense of security. Unless you take the Robert Whittaker/Paulo Costa approach and go to war.

Either way, he’s dangerous and it was clear how wary Adesanya was of his power. Neither man threw a strike for the first minute. However, Romero stole the round with a hard straight and a kick to the body. Just four strikes to Adesanya’s three. Needless to say, the crowd expected more.

Technical

Instead, they got a very technical performance from Adesanya who went to town on Romero’s leg for the fight. He spent the entire time moving away from the Cuban who tried to goad him into a slugfest. But Stylebender didn’t take the bait. Referee Dan Miralgliotta even took the unusual step of telling both men to step it up after the third round.

To be fair to Adesanya, it was effective if not pleasing on the eye. Romero complained passionately afterward but the onus was on him to step it up and bring the fight to the Nigerian. The problem for Adesanya is that he missed an opportunity to make a statement against a genuinely terrifying man. Paulo Costa will be more confident after tonight.

Up Next

Brazil’s Costa will surely be next up for Adesanya. He was in attendance at the event and looked like he had eaten Henry Cejudo. Good luck to him trying to make it back down to middleweight. Security removed him after he got into a verbal spat with Romero after the fight.

But he’ll fancy his chances against Adesanya. The champion is visibly uncomfortable facing power punching athletic freaks. Costa firmly falls into that category. He’s got the tools to give ‘Stylebender’ a violent night even if he doesn’t win.

In sum, Jon Jones will be laughing. Realistically it’s unlikely that Adesanya will be able to fight at a higher weight. His body type isn’t powerful enough. This was an interesting fight even if it wasn’t a very enjoyable one.

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