UFC 248 Will Be Headlined By a Middleweight Championship Grudge Match
By Ross Markey
A UFC middleweight championship matchup between reigning division king, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, and perennial contender, Yoel ‘Soldier Of God’ Romero is expected to headline UFC 248 on March 7th. from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. News of the matchup was first reported by ESPN staff writer, Brett Okamoto.
Adesanya will attempt to make his first successful defense of the 185-pound strap, after his UFC 243 unification win against Robert Whittaker in Melbourne. Romero on the other hand will enter his fourth scheduled title fight for the promotion, as he looks to rebound from a close, unanimous decision defeat to the undefeated Brazil native, Paulo ‘Borrachinha’ Costa.
The pairing of the two middleweight finishers is expected to serve as the event headliner, with a strawweight championship meeting between, Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk set for the pay-per-view’s co-main event.
Adesanya was widely expected to face the previously mentioned Costa in March or April, until a recently disclosed bicep injury, which required surgery ruled him from the pairing. Despite the current run of form Romero finds himself in, the Olympic silver medalist has been slotted in as Costa’s replacement, widely believed due to the close nature of their UFC 241 matchup in August.
Adesanya has openly called for the matchup with Romero in previous months, due to the wrestling threat the Pinar del Rio native offers. 42-year-old Romero has also taken to social media alongside the Nigerian-Kiwi to campaign for another title bout under the promotion’s banner.
Since his Octagon bow back in February 2018, Adesanya has remained undefeated on his way to championship gold, lodging an incredible seven wins over the likes of Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum and the aforementioned Robert Whittaker. American Top Team trainee Romero, holds victories over four former world champions over his short, yet illustrious career, having beaten the likes of Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, and Lyoto Machida.