Israel Adesanya defeats Yoel Romero to retain UFC Middleweight title

Israel Adesanya (left) and Yoel Romero
Israel Adesanya (left) and Yoel Romero

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.

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya

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.”

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.

RESULTS

Main card
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)

Prelims

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

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