Israel Adesanya is still the UFC middleweight champion earning a unanimous decision nod in a lacklustre fight against Yoel Romero.
“The Last Stylebender ” fought smart, but didn’t win any fans in out-pointing the explosive Cuban over five dour rounds.
The T-Mobile Arena erupted in boos throughout the 25-minutes but Adesanya copped the worst of it after his hand was raised in victory.
But Adesanya did what he needed to do against a knockout artist who refused to engage through large periods of the fight.
“It’s hard to dance without a willing dance partner,” the Nigerian-Kiwi said after the fight.
“I did what I needed to do to win against a dangerous guy.”
"I f—ed his leg up … I did what I had to do to win that fight."
— ESPN (@espn) March 8, 2020
Romero was irate at the decision and blamed Adesanya for the boring nature of the fight, claiming UFC fans deserve more than a “running champion”.
It was a strange take from a guy who only landed 30 strikes through the first four rounds.
“We wanted a fight … the people wanted to see a real fight,” Romero told Joe Rogan in the Octagon.
“The people paid for a real fight. Not for this. The people want Rome gladiators, not a guy who runs from the battle.”
In stark contrast to the main event, Weili Zhang and Joanna Jerdrzejczyk put on one of the greatest fights in UFC history for the women’s strawweight title.
Champion Zhang edged a split decision call from the judges to retain her title after five-thrilling rounds of stand up action.
Israel Adesanya (c) def Yoel Romero via split decision (49-46, 48-47 x2) to retain the UFC middleweight title
Weili Zhang (c) def Joanna Jędrzejczyk via split decision (48-47 x2, 47-48) to retain the UFC strawweight title
Beneil Dariush def Drakkar Klose via 2nd round KO
Neil Magny def. Li Jingliang via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Alex Oliveira def. Max Griffin via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Sean O’Malley def. José Alberto Quiñónez via 1st round TKO
Mark Madsen def. Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Saparbek Safarov via 1st round submission (arm triangle)
Gerald Meerschaert def. Deron Winn via 3rd round submission (rear naked choke)
Giga Chikadze def. Jamall Emmers via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Danaa Batgerel def. Guido Cannetti via 1st round KO