Now that Israel Adesanya has claimed full ownership of the UFC middleweight championship with a knockout win over Robert Whittaker, it is time for him to prove he can defend it. Adesanya will attempt to do just that when he puts the title up for grabs against longtime contender Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 248. The event takes place March 7 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Romero has a complicated relationship with middleweight championship bouts. At UFC 213, Romero lost an interim championship fight to Whittaker in his first bid for UFC gold. The loss was the first of Romero’s Octagon career. In his next fight, Romero again was scheduled to fight for the interim belt. He defeated Luke Rockhold in that fight, but had missed weight, making him ineligible to win the title. A rematch with Whittaker was next, and with it a shot at the undisputed middleweight crown. Romero lost by split decision. He now comes into the fight with Adesanya off a decision loss to Paulo Costa and with a 1-3 record in his four most recent fights.
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Adesanya sports a perfect 18-0 record in MMA, including seven wins in the UFC. Those seven UFC victories have all come since 2018, keeping a very active schedule for such a high-level fighter. Adesanya won the interim version of the title by beating Kelvin Gastelum in arguably the best fight of 2019 and then became undisputed champion by knocking out Whittaker in a dominant performance last October.
Adesanya won’t be the only champ putting their title on the line during the event. Weili Zhang, the UFC women’s strawweight champ, will battle former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the evening’s co-main event.
Below is the complete fight card for Saturday night as well as everything that happened this week in the lead up to the event that you need to catch up on. CBS Sports will be with you throughout the night with updates, results and recaps for all the action in Houston. Check back in on this page to keep track.
UFC 248 fight card
- Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Yoel Romero — Middleweight championship
- Weili Zhang (c) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk — Women’s strawweight championship
- Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose — Lightweights
- Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang — Welterweights
- Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin — Welterweights
- Sean O’Malley vs. Jose Quinonez — Bantamweights
- Mark Madsen vs. Austin Hubbard — Lightweights
- Rodolfo Vieira vs. Saparbek Safarov — Middleweights
- Gerald Meerschaert vs. Deron Winn — Middleweights
- Emily Whitmire vs. Polyana Viana — Women’s strawweights
- Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Movsar Evolev — Featherweights
- Danaa Batgerel vs. Guido Cannetti — Bantamweights