Israel Adesanya asked and he received.
The UFC middleweight champion made it clear he wanted to meet Yoel Romero in his first UFC title defence, citing the fact fans believe Romero to be an unstoppable monster. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto first broke the news.
Romero will be entering the fight on a two fight losing streak, causing some to raise eyebrows at his booking, but his reputation as a tough as nails fighter and his razor-thin decision defeats to Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa means it’s likely to still draw plenty of attention.
UFC president Dana White said he was willing to overlook Romero’s current record due to Adesanya’s desire to fight a man most would rather avoid. Adesanya was originally meant to meet Costa in his first defense, only for Costa to be ruled out with injury.
BREAKING: Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) vs. Yoel Romero (@YoelRomeroMMA) will headline UFC 248 in Las Vegas per Dana White. Adesanya was itching to fight. Big one in the desert on March 7. pic.twitter.com/pnx6M5aNoW
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 17, 2020