UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero

Preview and Predictions for UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 

The UFC returns to its home base this weekend for UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero. UFC 248 will feature two title fights, Champion “The Last Stylebender”Israel Adesanya defends the Men’s Middleweight Championship against Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero in the Main Event, and Weili Zhang makes her first  title defense on US soil against the former Strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the Co-Main Event. Plenty of fun matchups and storylines on this card, including the return of Sean O’Malley against Jose Quinones in the ESPN Prelims featured bout. The event start times are as follows:
—UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims 6:30PM/ET

—ESPN Prelims  8:00PM/ET

—UFC 248 PPV Main Card 10:00PM/ET

UFC 248 Main Card Predictions
 (-145) Alex Oliveira vs.  Max Griffin (+115)
Two Welterweights that are always involved in entertaining  fights will square off as Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira  (19-8-1,2NC) takes on Max “Pain” Griffin (15-7-0) to kickoff the UFC 248 PPV. While always exciting, things have not been going to well as of late for both Cowboy Oliveira and Max Griffin. Oliveira is on a three fight losing streak following clashes with Gunnar Nelson, Mike Perry, and Nicolas Dalby. Oliveira had previously won four of his last five, so hopefully Cowboy can get a win and get back in the saddle. Max Griffin has lost three of his last four dropping his record inside the Octagon to 3-5 in eight appearances. Griffin has gone the distance in his last six fights and has lost four decisions over that span. I expect both veteran fighters to leave it all in the cage, as they hope to secure the other half of their paycheck and perhaps even a Fight of the Night bonus, in the process. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Griffin via Second Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Griffin via Third Round TKO 
 Li Jingliang  (-185) vs.  Neil Magny (+145)
Up next is another pair of Octagon veterans as Li “The Leech” Jingliang (17-5-0) meets Neil Magny (21-7-0) in a Welterweight matchups. After not fighting in 2019, a refreshed Neil Magny will be looking to a return to form in his first appearance since losing by knockout to Santiago Ponzinibio back in November 2018. Magny sandwiched wins over Carlos Condit and Craig White following a Submission loss to Raphael Dos Anjos back at UFC 215 in September 2017. The Leech has won an impressive seven of his last eight, and is currently riding a three win streak highlighted by TKO wins over Davis Zawada and Elizieu Zoleski Dos Santos. Both fighters have great cardio, but the power and constant pace of Li Jingliang seems to wear on his opponents leading to decision wins or late TKO stoppages. The long and rangy Neil Magny will be a good test to see if the Leech is ready to face the next echelon of competition. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction:  Jingliang via Decision 
D’Bo’s Pick: Magny via Decision 
 Beneil Dariush (-170) vs. Drakkar Klose (+135)

Beneil Dariush (17-4-1) and Drakkar Klose (11-1-1) are set to do battle in a Lightweight bout. Beneil Dariush has bounced back from a stunning knockout loss to Alexander Hernandez by winning three straight, including Submission wins over Drew Dober and Frank Camacho in 2019. Drakkar Klose is 5-1 in the UFC has quietly put together a three fight win streak with Unanimous Decision wins against Cristos Giagos, Bobby Green and Lando Vannata. The only knock on Klose is that he has yet to find a finish inside the Octagon, with all six of his appearances going the distance. A statement win over a tough opponent like Dariush could secure a place for Klose in the top 15 of the always tough and competitive UFC Lightweight division. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Klose via Decision 

D’Bo’s Pick: Dariush via First Round Submission 

Co-Main Event—Women’s Strawweight Championship 
{C} Weili Zhang  (-210) vs. #4 Joanna Jedrzejczyk  (+165)
“Magnum” Weili Zhang (20-1-0) will be looking to make her first defense of her title a successful one as she takes on  former Strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-3-0) in the Co-Main event.  As usual, Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been trying to get under the skin of her opponent during the fighter stare downs. The Strawweight Champ, Weili Zhang, has remained calm and confident, unphased by Jedrzejczyk’s verbal intimidations. After losing her title in consecutive bouts with Thug Rose Namajunas, Joanna Jedrzejczyk has worked her way into a title shot by winning two of her last three fights, including her dominant Decision win over “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson in their headlining bout at UFC Tampa last October. With ten wins and five title defenses, Joanna  Jedrzejczyk has the most victories in UFC Strawweight history. Current champion Weili Zhang has not tasted defeat since losing in her professional debut way back in 2013. Zhang is 4-0 in the UFC. With an 85% finish rate Zhang has finished seventeen of her last twenty opponents, including her First Round TKO of Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzhen last summer to become UFC Strawweight Champion.  Zhang is ready to begin her own reign over the Women’s Strawweight division and plans to dedicate to performance on Saturday to her people back home in China. I’m going with Weili Zhang to get  a big feather in her cap with a win over Jedrzejczyk as she gets the job done in convincing fashion.  Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Zhang via Second Round TKO 
D’Bo’s Pick: Zhang via First Round TKO
 MAIN EVENT—  Men’s Middleweight  Championship 
{C} Israel Adesanya (-300) vs. #3 Yoel Romero (+245)

“The Last Stylebender” Israel Adesanya (18-0-0) will face the Soldier of God Yoel Romero (13-4-0) and defend his UFC Middleweight title in the UFC 248 Main Event. For the first time (over three attempts) in his UFC career, Yoel Romero has made the championship weight of and is officially eligible to win the UFC Middleweight title on Saturday. Romero missed weight at UFC 221 in February in his opportunity to become Interim Champion against Luke Rockhold. Romero would defeat Rockhold by Third Round Knockout and would of been a UFC champion had he not lost the bout with the scales. Romero would also miss weight in his rematch with Robert Whitaker at UFC 225. Romero would go on to lose to Whitaker as second time, albeit in a narrow Split Decision in their rematch at UFC 225. Yoel lost to Paulo Costa last summer at UFC 241 in a tightly fought contest, where many thought the Soldier of God should of won. Despite his two fight losing streak, the 42 year old Romero is still an amazing physical specimen and perhaps the most dangerous current threat to the Middleweight title. Israel Adesanya has sought a match with Romero to declare himself the rightful heir to Middleweight throne and to prove once and for  that he is the best at 185 pounds. Since making his promotional debut two years ago at UFC 221, Israel Adesanya has posted seven consecutive wins including his epic Interim clash with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 and his knockout of Robert Whitaker in their title unification bout at UFC 243 last October. This is a fight for Adesanya where legends are made of.  Romero has never been stopped inside the Octagon. If Adesanya finishes Romero, a feat that Paulo Costa and Robert Whitaker failed to accomplish, the Last Stylebender will have laid out the gauntlet for all future Middleweight title contenders. This should be an awesome title fight!!  
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Adesanya via Fourth Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Adesanya via Decision 
Next week, the UFC heads to Brasilia, Brazil for UFC on ESPN+ 28: Lee vs. Oliveira. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below, and enjoy the fights!! 

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