Israel Adesanya beats Yoel Romero to retain UFC title

Israel Adesanya UFC champion

Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya has successfully defended his middleweight title against Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) in the main event of UFC 248 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, Nevada, US.

The fight is regarded as one of the least active and most bizarre in UFC history.

This was Adesanya’s first title defence after beating Robert Whittaker to win the middleweight title at UFC 243 last October.

Throughout the fight, fans booed and at one point in the third round, started shining the flashlights on their cellphones.

“As long as (the judges) didn’t listen to the crowd, I was fine,” Adesanya said.

When the result was announced, more boos followed.

Afterward, Romero said it was “my victory.” The fans, who cheered him afterward, seemed to agree.

Adesanya chose to fight Romero as top contender, Paulo Costa, was yet to return from bicep surgery.

Adesanya (19-0) remained undefeated with the victory. The 30-year-old has won all of his eight UFC fights.

However, Romero (13-5) has lost three straight. The 42-year-old Cuba native has not won a fight since 2018. He won the wrestling silver medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Figures obtained from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) show that Adesanya made a disclosed guarantee of $500,000 for the fight, while Romero made at least $300,000.