UFC 248 Results: Israel Adesanya Beats Yoel Romero, Retains Middleweight Title

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: (L-R) Yoel Romero of Cuba punches Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC middleweight championship fight during the UFC 248 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya maintained his middleweight title in a frustrating, bizarre unanimous decision over Yoel Romero to close out a wild UFC 248 card in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Adesanya and Romero are two of the most dangerous fighters in the division. If that wasn't clear going into the fight, all one had to do was look at how they approached each other.

Romero—who typically fights in bursts—waited for Adesanya to make the first move so that he could explode and do damage. More often than not, that move never came as the champion opted to mostly attack the lead leg from distance.

The end result was a bout that didn't give the judges much to think about.

A frustrated Romero complained about the lack of action after the fight:

Adesanya moved right on to his next likely challenger: Paulo Costa.

Not all was lost on the main card, though. The co-main event bout between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang was everything fans could have hoped for and more.

Here's a look at all the results from the evening and a closer look at all the main card action.


UFC 248 Main Card Results

  • Israel Adesanya def. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (48-47 x2, 49-46)
  • Weili Zhang def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via split decision (48-47 x2, 47-48)
  • Beneil Dariush def. Drakkar Klose via KO at 1:00 of Round 2
  • Neil Magny def. Li Jingliang via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
  • Alex Oliveira def. Max Griffin via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)


UFC 248 Prelims

  • Sean O'Malley def. José Alberto Quinonez via TKO (punches) at 2:02 of Round 1
  • Mark O. Madsen def. Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
  • Rodolfo Vieira def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (arm-triangle) at 2:58 of Round 1
  • Gerald Meerschaert def. Deron Winn via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:13 of Round 3
  • Giga Chikadze def. Jamall Emmers via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
  • Danaa Batgerel def. Guido Cannetti via KO (punches) at 3:01 of Round 1


Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Weili Zhang narrowly edged out Joanna Jedrzejczyk in her first title defense with a split-decision win that won't soon be forgotten.

The two wasted no time in getting to know one another in the first round. Both landed clean punches in a high-paced frenetic frame that saw Zhang hold the advantage in power and Jedrzejczyk playing the volume game and trying to keep her opponent on the outside.

That pace didn't slow down as the fight progressed, either. The two threw punches in bunches at each other and took turns landing cleanly.

Zhang attempted to drag the fight to the mat multiple times, but she couldn't keep the former champion down long enough to do anything of consequence. Jedrzejczyk continued to pour on the offense, and Zhang returned it to her in kind, giving Joanna Violence a welt that started on one side before invading the whole forehead.

The praise for both fighters was effusive:

It was all well-deserved. Zhang and Jedrzejczyk put on a show that will boost both fighters' stock going forward. It was the kind of bout that people hope they'll get to witness when they tune in to a card.

Zhang secured her title, but Jedrzejczyk all but guaranteed this isn't the last time we see this matchup.


Drakkar Klose vs. Beneil Dariush

Drakkar Klose and Beneil Dariush's fight was a tale of two distinctly different rounds.

The first was a plodding, meandering rear-naked choke attempt from Dariush. He was able to take Klose's back early in the round, and the cat-and-mouse game was on as his opponent fought to stave off the choke attempt.

Then the second round became a frenetic firefight that ended in stunning fashion. Klose opened up his striking repertoire and appeared to be turning up the heat. Smelling the opportunity to potentially finish the fight, Klose put the cart before the horse.

While swinging wildly to end the fight, Klose left himself open to be countered, and Dariush bit down on his mouthpiece and delivered the perfect answer. No follow-up was required.

The fight showcased the skill Dariush has when he's at the top of his game. After an 0-2-1 stretch in 2017 and early 2018, the Iranian-American has put together a four-fight win streak.


Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang

Li Jingliang landed a sharp left hand from the clinch that momentarily stymied Neil Magny.

That's the complete list of good moments for Jiangling in his lopsided decision loss to Magny. Coming off an extended layoff that went back to November 2018, Magny showed no signs of ring rust as he simply overwhelmed Jingliang.

The 32-year-old was able to back his opponent up against the cage and utilize a good mix of clinchwork, striking and grappling that stifled Jingliang's power and put him in total control.

All three judges gave Magny the win in all three rounds as he announced his return to the division with an emphatic performance. The loss snaps Jingliang's three-fight win streak.

This was set up for the Chinese fighter to break into a new level of competition, but he looked out of his element against a man in Magny who has seen some of the best fighters in the division.


Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin

Both Alex Oliveira and Max Griffin came into the night with their stocks collectively trending downward. They responded like two men desperately fighting for their jobs.

Cowboy ended his three-fight losing streak with an absolute war against Griffin to earn the split decision. Both Griffin and Cowboy threw down in a bloody affair with the Brazilian showcasing some of his creative striking and reminding fans about his penchant for putting on exciting fights.

Oliveira shined mostly in the stand-up department, while Griffin had his moments when he was able to get the fight on the ground.

Griffin put forth an admirable effort in the loss, which will likely keep him around. He is now 1-4 in his last five fights, so winning his next outing is going to be important to maintaining his job.


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