It is probably fair to say that the UFC 248 headliner between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero didn’t quite live up to expectations.
Through a stop-start 25 minutes in which neither man appeared willing to place themselves into the type of positions in which their opponent could capitalise, it was Adesanya who did enough (on the judges’ scorecards at least) to claim victory and defend his 185-pound title.
But Jon Jones, the man to whom Adesanya has been linked to competing with in a hypothetical ‘superfight’ next year, wasn’t impressed with his performance, to borrow a maxim from from UFC icon Georges St-Pierre.
Both Adesanya and Romero blamed each other for the slow pace of the fight, which came in harsh contrast to the fight of the year candidate between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk which immediately proceeded it, and in a Twitter Q&A with fans Jones suggested that any talk of a champions versus champion bout should hold off for now.
Yoel is almost 10 years older than me and almost won that fight Without using his wrestling. That’s all I’ll say https://t.co/z6A87fs4w8
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) March 18, 2020
“Yoel is almost 10 years older than me and almost won that fight,” Jones wrote. “Without using his wrestling. That’s all I’ll say.”
Adesanya has indicated that he sees next year’s International Fight Week as the ideal time to host any potential fight between the two, with the newly-built Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas as being the host venue.
Adesanya’s next move at middleweight remains unclear at the moment but undefeated Brazilian slugger Paulo Costa appears to be in pole position to be the next title challenger, while Jones is likely to face either a rematch with Dominick Reyes or a showdown with in-form pole Jan Blachowicz in his next outing.
A win for both in their next encounter could, however, reinstall motivations in the Jones camp for a money-spinning event opposite the Kiwi star.