UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya said last month that his lackluster victory over Yoel Romero in February 2018 was the low point of his mixed martial arts career. Adesanya and Romero were locked in a very tedious 25-minute standstill, and the battle was heavily ridiculed as a result.
Yoel Romero on Israel Adesanya
Neither fighter landed more than 90 blows throughout the whole fight. Since Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the bout that came before it, is widely regarded to be one of the best in mixed martial arts history, this one was that much more disappointing.
Romero Was Grilled At The MMA Hour
On Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Romero was questioned about “The Last Stylebender’s” recent statements, in which he echoed Adesanya in placing most of the responsibility on Romero for the poor character of the match.
You may assume Romero disagreed with this assessment. Romero, speaking via a translator, stated, “It left a lot to be desired, but let’s get things straight.” I mean, he did single me out, right? As if to say, “OK, nobody wants to confront the beast,” he says.
Please bring the beast to me. ‘I want to not only fight the beast, but I want to retire him. At that point, I felt a surge of enthusiasm. This is going to be a tough battle, I thought. Let’s get going. So, you’re after the monster, then?
The beast will be yours. Then I walk up there, get pumped up for the fight, and stand in the center of the octagon right there; and that’s exactly what I do. I’m ready to brawl; I want to see blood; I want the spectators to witness a real conflict. Right? “
However, what occurred? He engages in combat, experiences my superiority, and then… I start sprinting, and he begins running away. No, I won’t go looking for you. No, I won’t be acting like that. The UFC was treating him and Izzy like royalty, and I assume they expected me to chase after them. I certainly won’t be doing that.
There’s No Use In Picking A Fight With Me If He’s Not Going to Throw
The onus of responsibility for his unwillingness to engage in a fistfight with me rests squarely on his shoulders, not mine. What I did was just stand up there and try to fight like a guy.
That’s on him since he didn’t want to do it. However, the potential was far higher. On Friday at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, Romero will compete against Melvin Manhoef in the co-main event of Bellator 285.
Unfortunately for UFC fans, Romero’s last fight was against Adesanya. After requesting his release from the UFC, the 45-year-old Olympic silver medalist signed with Bellator MMA in 2020 and went 1-1 in his first two bouts with the organization.
A recent victory for Romero came in May when he knocked out Alex Polizzi in the second round. On Wednesday, Romero said that he is seldom critical of a smart or cautious strategy. In his mind, Adesanya avoided a fight by whatever means necessary.
“Don’t get me wrong, I do understand when someone wants to fight intelligently,” Romero stated. That’s OK if all you want to do is get in and out quickly, land a few kicks here, a few punches there, and then go.
Running Away vs Shrewd Combatant
Yet that is not what he did at all. As soon as he sensed that I was getting close to him, he would immediately flee. Therefore, there is a significant distinction between running away and being a shrewd combatant who carefully chooses his or her moments to strike.
Moreover, he was doing it. But I had no intention of following him around the ring. That’s an absurd idea. It would have been one thing if he had been willing to stand up and fight, however.
It would have been a different story if his goal had been to become a cunning and strategic warrior. Yet that is not what he did at all. He was frantic and dashing in every direction. Romero isn’t the first competitor to criticize Adesanya’s style in the ring.
Finishing Off Our Discussion
After multiple successful title defences, including his most recent decision victory over Jared Cannonier at UFC 276, the UFC middleweight champion has come under fire, some of it warranted and some of it not. Romero feels compelled to highlight the topic’s underlying unity.
“Excluding Adesanya, has Yoel Romero ever fought in a dull bout?” “Have you ever witnessed a boring Yoel Romero fight?” It was Romero who posed the question. The point I’m making is that. Toss out Izzy and tell me about a dull Yoel Romero battle. How often does Izzy get into boring fights? In other words, Don’t you see? Yoel Romero is not to blame.”