Nigeria-born fighter, Israel Adesanya, has successfully defended his UFC middleweight title after he secured a unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero early Sunday morning
The judges scored the five-round fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in Adesanya’s favour.
As expected, there was less fireworks in the first round as the two fighters were literally dancing around each other inside the Octagon.
There were only seven strikes, with Romero landing four to Adesanya’s three, including a blow above the Nigerian’s left eye.
Romero landed another big shot early in the second round, where the duo kept a close eye on each other.
In the third, Adesanya began to land some big blows of his own, mainly kicks, with the crowd in Las Vegas expressing displeasure at the overall lack of action.
As the fourth round began, the referee told both fighters: “You’ve got to give the judges something to score”.
Stuff Nation, a New Zealand publication, reports that the fight was stopped midway through the fourth, after Adesanya poked Romero in the eye, prompting an inspection by a doctor.
It added that Adesanya was using kicks to Romero’s right leg to great effect, wearing down the explosive Cuban heading into the fifth and final round.
The champ had done enough to win, landing more strikes in each round after the first. Romero came at him late but to no avail.
Adesanya didn’t have to fight 42-year-old Romero, as the UFC was prepared for him to wait for top contender and fellow undefeated star Paulo Costa to recover from injury.
With Adesanya itching to fight, he was pitched against Romero who did give him a run for his money.
Adesanya became the UFC interim middleweight champion last April, when he beat Kevin Gastelum by unanimous decision at UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia.
He then beat New Zealand-born Australian Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 in Melbourne last October to become the undisputed champion.
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