‘The fight sucked’: UFC boss slams Israel ‘Stylebender’ Adesanya after ‘boring’ title defence - as female Polish fighter steals the show in Vegas
- Israel Adesanya managed to defend his middleweight title against Yoel Romero
- But UFC boss Dana White said the fight between the men ‘sucked’
- A strange contest saw neither fighter land a blow for most of the first round
- The men’s fight came just after one of the greatest women’s fights in history
- Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk were hospitalised after their five-round fight
- The women’s bout is being considered frontrunner for 2020 Fight of the Year
UFC boss Dana White has slammed Israel Adesanya’s middleweight title defence and admitted ‘the fight sucked’ after thousands of fans slammed the ‘boring’ clash.
New Zealand-born Adesanya, 30, was given a unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night in a fight that had crowds booing.
The lacklustre event began with Romero, 42, standing still with his guard up in the middle of the octagon, with neither fighter landing a blow for the best part of the first two minutes.
The men’s championship came just minutes after one of the greatest fights in UFC history between Weili Zhang and Polish mixed martial arts star Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
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Romero, 42, entered T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with little fanfare as he looked to win the title
Adesanya was spurred into life and worked his way into the fight to go up on the scorecards
Both Jedrzejczyk, 32, and Zhang, 30, had to be taken to hospital after their mammoth five-round contest, where the strawweight champion Zhang clung on to her belt following a split decision from the judges.
The Polish national’s face was so beaten and bruised by the end she appeared disfigured.
White said the women’s event was a ‘tough act to follow’ and the men walked in to a ‘no win situation’.
‘Listen guys, the fight sucked,’ the UFC president said after Adesanya’s victory in a press conference.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk lost to Weili Zhang after an epic fight at UFC 248 that saw blood pouring from her face
Jedrzejczyk was caught with a brutal punch from Zhang, immediately raising swelling across Jedrzejczyk’s entire forehead
‘There were a couple times when they weren’t engaging and that was probably when [the ref] told them to fight, but … tough act to follow. After watching that last fight, it was a tough situation for both of them to be in.’
‘But yes, the fight sucked.’
UFC boss Dana White said the women’s event was a ‘tough act to follow’
After retaining his belt, the man known as ‘The Last Stylebender’ admitted it was an ‘odd’ contest.
‘It was an odd fight, but at least I did what I had to do…’ Adesanya said.
‘Look at his leg, he’s going to be limping… I did what I had to do to win that fight.’
Asked by commentator Joe Rogan what he was expecting from Romero, Adesanya said: ‘He plays the game in lulls, he does what he can to lull you into a false sense of security.’
Adesanya won his title at UFC 243 by beating Australian Robert Whittaker last October - who has beaten Romero twice.
Meanwhile, Zhang (21-1) came out strong in the opening two rounds, but Jedrzejczyk (16-4) - despite a nasty hematoma on her forehead - rallied in Rounds 3 and 4, before Zhang edged her foe in the final round.
‘It doesn’t matter, I carry myself as a champ with the belt or without,’ the 32-year-old Jedrzejczyk said.
‘I was very proud of her, congrats Weili.’ she added, referring to her opponent.
Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title in one of the most bizarre fights in history
Both fighters were caught by heavy punches early on in the Las Vegas bout.
In the end, 30-year-old Zhang from China was awarded the win 28-27.
The bout is already being considered both the greatest women’s fight in UFC history and the frontrunner for 2020 Fight of the Year regardless of gender.