YOEL ROMERO’S ANEMIC WORK RATE IN UFC 248 TITLE FIGHT
Yoel Romero received a gift title shot and did very little with it. The fight was impossibly slow, with Romero choosing to coast with the lowest possible workload. Adesanya wasn’t exactly the action man in there either, but it’s his title and he likely came in with the mindset that Romero was going to come at him like a tank instead of inching his way forward while virtually motionless.
The first two rounds favored Romero, in my opinion. It’s difficult to score rounds where almost nothing happens, but you have to give them to someone. Romero easily edged an uneventful first round, while the second was closer.
At that point in the fight Yoel looked like a genius. He snuck his way through the first two rounds without wearing himself out, and was either tied 1-1 or up two rounds heading into the third. All he had to do was explode and score here and there in bursts, get some takedowns, and he was on his way to becoming UFC middleweight champion. Instead, he chose to maintain the same anemic pace en route to losing the last three rounds.
Adesanya decided it wasn’t worth trading hands with Romero, and switched over to leg kicks. And that was enough, as he landed them regularly throughout the rest of the fight.
At the end of the day, it’s a disappointing performance from Yoel and a solid title defense for Adesanya. Romero didn’t get beat up, and the fight doesn’t hurt his stock too much, but it’s unlikely the UFC will give him another title shot. As for Adesanya, one of the toughest guys in the division is now out of his way.
So far the Adesanya era has gone exactly as planned for Izzy, with Paulo Costa is next in line.
Yoel Romero’s Anemic Work Rate