The fight between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero will be quickly forgotten for its lack of intensity, but photos of the challengers bruised leg have shocked fans.
Throughout the fight boors rang out from the crowd as neither man made much of an effort to engage.
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Adesanya won a unanimous decision by scores of 48-47 twice and 49-46.
It was difficult to understand the fighters’ strategy, particularly Romero’s. When the bout began, Romero went to the center of the ring with his guard high and stood there for 30 or 40 seconds without moving. It was a harbinger of things to come.
Adesanya moved and poked and threw kicks.
But while they seemed to be just clipping Romero, photos have revealed the ugly extent of the bruising he inflicted on his opponent.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 8, 2020
I haven’t watched it a second time yet. Watching live, though, I felt that Izzy saw Romero’s defense up top was solid and once he found he could land the leg kicks consistently, he stuck to what was available to him to win rounds.
— Michael Stets (@Michael_Stets) March 9, 2020
— ig: @khannahblack 📸 (@KhannahBlack) March 8, 2020
— Ross Edmonds (@RosssEdmonds) March 8, 2020
And Romero complains about the fight yet stands like this 90% of the fight. Have fun crawling around your house today with that leg of yours lmao https://t.co/cur05GVi5R
— Mathias (@Pulsery_) March 8, 2020
— Claudia Trejos (@ClaudiaTrejos) March 8, 2020
Romero didn’t do much of anything but afterward was screaming as if he’d been robbed.
It was a horrible fight that did nothing to enhance Adesanya’s stature, but Romero’s rant post-fight in the cage with Joe Rogan was bizarre. Adesanya clearly did more than Romero, who fought in spurts and usually only threw one punch at a time.
Romero’s bizarre rant
Romero put more energy, seemingly, into his post-fight interview when he said “The people pay. For what? Not to see running.”
But both men were to blame for the slow pace and lack of action. Adesanya clearly was concerned about Romero’s power, but Romero did nothing to force the issue, following the champion around the ring without throwing.
At one point, many in the crowd turned on the flashlights on their phones and held them up in protest. At another point, they chanted, “Boring! Boring!” Mostly, they booed.
Neither fighter did much as the fight was going on to give them a reason to cheer, and Romero lost for inactivity as much as for anything Adesanya did.
Adesanya will fight Paulo Costa next, but even when Adesanya was going at Costa, who was ringside, in his Octagon interview, the fans weren’t buying it.
Adesanya had been one of the sport’s rising stars, but he’s going to need to do work to rebuild his image after this one.
With Kevin Iole - Yahoo Sport US