Israel Adesanya
The Style Bender

Nigeria

Out
Injury Foot
Est. Return 9/4/2020
Eyeing title defense versus Costa
MiddleweightUFC
Out
May 26, 2020
Adesanya (foot) is looking to defend his title against Paulo Costa in the coming months, Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Per Martin, Adesanya is awaiting word from MMA on the exact date of the fight. Adesanya suffered a possible foot injury in his last fight, but he would be on a medical suspension until September if anything came of that, so it seems he'll be ready to fight whenever the date is set.
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Possible foot injury after UFC 248
MiddleweightUFC
Out
March 9, 2020
Adesanya is facing a potential 180-day medical suspension pending x-rays on both feet, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
While Adesanya didn't absorb a ton of damage in Saturday's lackluster main event, his main strategy seemed to center around kicks to Yoel Romero's muscle-bound legs, which would take a toll on any mere mortal. It only takes one kick landing the wrong way to result in an injury, so the commission will have him get it checked out before booking another fight. While Dana White wasn't happy with the performance of either combatant on Thursday, Adesanya is still the champion, with Paulo Costa next up in a long line of challengers.
"Wins" fight, retains UFC belt
MiddleweightUFC
Out
March 7, 2020
Adesanya retained his UFC Middleweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) at UFC 248 in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya may have "won" the fight and he most certainly walked out of T-Mobile arena with the belt, but make no mistake, there were no winners in this one. Adesanya and Romero combined to land a whopping 88 total strikes over the course of the 25-minute fight. More than half (25) of Adesanya's 48 total strikes were to Romero's legs. They did no significant fight-altering damage, but it was apparently enough to secure the win on the judge's scorecards. To summarize, this fight was a complete and total snooze fest that was made even worse due to the brilliant performance Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang put on in the co-main event. Adesanya ripped on Paulo Costa in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, as it is abundantly clear Costa is next in line for a title shot at 185 pounds. It remains to be seen what will happen there, but one thing is for certain, Costa will not sit back like Romero did. He will come right after Adesanya and let the chips fall where they may. This was such a disappointing conclusion to what was otherwise an excellent card.
Downplays staph infection
MiddleweightUFC
Out
March 3, 2020
Adesanya admitted to recently dealing with a staph infection on his arm, but claims it is "no concern" leading up to his UFC 248 title defense against Yoel Romero, Jed Meshew of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The infection can best be visibly observed in a recent interview with Combat TV, but the champion has kept a light attitude about the whole situation and insists it hasn't affected preparations for his upcoming title defense. It hasn't affected Adesanya's numbers in the sportsbooks, as he remains anywhere from a (-270) to a (-300) betting favorite heading into Saturday's fight.
Enters title defense as favorite
MiddleweightUFC
Out
March 2, 2020
Adesanya is approximately a (-270) betting favorite for his UFC Middleweight Championship defense against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Adesanya enters as a much younger fighter with a four-inch advantage in height and a seven-inch advantage in reach, so this line could easily expand further once the public sees the two square off during weigh-ins. Adesanya enters with a kickboxing background and is one of the division's most technical strikers, landing 4.46 significant strikes per minute at an accuracy rate of 50 percent. But Romero can take a shot as well as anyone in the division, and arguably has an advantage in terms of the sheer power behind his strikes. Romero would also theoretically have a distinct advantage in the wrestling department, but Adesanya sports a highly respectable 85 percent takedown defense and looks better in this area every time out. It's understandable to see why the streaking Adesanya is the betting favorite, but don't let anyone convince you Romero is an opponent that should be taken lightly.
Fighting Romero on March 7
MiddleweightUFC
Out
January 19, 2020
Adesanya will fight Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7.
ANALYSIS
It was officially announced early Sunday that Adesanya, the new undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion, will battle counterpart Yoel Romero. Adesanya is coming off a victory over Robert Whittaker via KO (punches) in Round 2 at UFC 243 in October, while Romero will be returning from a suspension that he was handed by the California State Athletic Commission due to a possible right rib fracture he suffered before a fight at UFC 241 in August.