MMA Ratings Podcast

March 9, 2020

UFC 248: Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero Saw Their Stocks Drop Significantly After Main Event Stinker

By Adam Martin

The main event of UFC 248 looked like an incredible fight on paper. In one corner you had Israel Adesanya, the undefeated UFC Middleweight Champion who was coming off of an incredible 2019 where he beat Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum, and Anderson Silva. In the other corner, you had Yoel Romero, one of the most dangerous middleweights in the world. On paper, this looked like an incredible middleweight title fight. Unfortunately, it turned out to be anything but.

Adesanya vs. Romero was a truly awful fight, and those calling it one of the worst title fights in UFC history aren't wrong. It was absolutely terrible. Adesanya and Romero were both shockingly passive in the fight, with neither showing any of their trademark aggressiveness. The referee had to warn both men multiple times to get to work, which is something you rarely see in a title fight. The fans couldn't stop booing the fight, and given how expensive tickets are, they were well within their rights to do so. Adesanya may have won a decision to retain his belt, but in many ways, it was a loss.

The stocks of both Adesanya and Romero dropped significantly after this terrible bout. Adesanya was arguably the hottest fighter on the roster heading into this fight, with everyone talking about him and his bright future, including a potential superfight against Jon Jones. Unfortunately, it's MMA, and this is a sport where you are primarily judged on your most recent performance. In this case, Adesanya had the poorest performance of his MMA career, and a Jones superfight seems to be off the table at this point. Fans seem to have quickly turned on the champ after this stinker.

Romero is an even worse situation. Soon to be 43 years old, Romero has now lost three straight fights, and he's lost all four of his title fights in the Octagon. Despite his previous two losses, there was still plenty of hype behind Romero because of his physique, his wrestling, and his KO power. Not now. Not after this fight. Romero blew a golden opportunity to win a UFC belt. Given his age, the odds of him fighting for a UFC title again seen slim to none. It was shocking seeing someone so badly blow such an incredible opportunity in a UFC title fight.

It was sad to watch two talented fighters in Adesanya and Romero put on such a stinker of a fight and see their stocks drop so drastically. Their situation was made even worse by the fact that they went out there after Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk stole the show in the co-main event, in what turned out to be one of the greatest MMA fights of all time. Both Zhang and Jedrzejczyk saw their stocks rise exponentially after the fight, in stark juxtaposition to the main eventers. Adesanya and Romero were always going to have a hard time living up to that amazing fight, but their bout was worse than anyone could have ever imagined. Regardless of the fight that came before them, Adesanya and Romero just put on a really bad fight.

Seeing two such incredible and talented fighters in Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero have such an awful fight was tough. Given the style matchup, there was no reason for this to be a terrible fight. Adesanya had a golden opportunity to become the biggest star in the UFC, and he blew it. Romero, meanwhile, blew a gift title shot that he didn't deserve. It was just incredibly disappointing in so many ways. Both men saw their stocks drop to all-time low levels, and now they both have to get back on the road to rebuilding them.

UFC 248
Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero (UFC Middleweight Championship): Israel Adesanya def. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46).

UFC 248
Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (UFC Strawweight Championship): Zhang Weili def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47).

UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero took place March 7, 2020 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click HERE for more UFC 248 Post-Fight Analysis

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