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Bisping believes he’d take the belt from UFC 248’s Israel Adesanya ‘pretty easily’

Israel Adesanya has handled his UFC competition to date, but not everybody is sold on the middleweight champion’s dominance.

Adesanya, who will defend his 185-pound crown for the first time against Yoel Romero later this evening (Sat., Mar. 7, 2020) at UFC 248 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, has won his first seven fights inside of the Octagon en route to a perfect 18-0 professional record. He has finished the likes of Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson during his UFC tenure, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Still, former UFC middleweight champion and current UFC color commentator Michael Bisping is not ready to crown Adesanya the next best thing. In fact, “The Count” believes he would have had what it takes to defeat “Last Stylebender” if he was still active.

“Listen, and here’s the real thing, if I was still fighting, I’d take that belt off him [Israel Adesanya] pretty easily, but I’m not,” said Bisping during a recent appearance on MMA Tonight on Sirius XM. “So, listen, I like Adesanya — I’m a massive fan of the guy — he’s a great personality, he’s a great fighter and I’m a fan of Yoel as well, it’s going to be a good one.”

Bisping, who is actually younger than Romero at 41 years of age, retired from the sport back in 2018 following back-to-back losses to Georges St-Pierre and Kelvin Gastelum. Before that, the UFC Hall of Famer collected the middleweight title with a win over Luke Rockhold and defended it once in a Fight of the Night rematch against the legendary Dan Henderson.

While Bisping remains a confident fighter in retirement and likely sees holes in Adesanya’s game that he’d be able to exploit with his boxing, the UFC commentator still paid tribute to “Last Stylebender” ahead of his title defense this weekend at UFC 248.

“Stylebender on the flip side, he’s got the height, the reach, the range, the diversity of strikes, he’s got excellent footwork, he does pivot off well,” Bisping said. “I don’t know who is going to win but if I had to put money on this, I’d definitely lean towards Israel Adesanya.”

Adesanya, 30, looks more dominant each and every time he steps inside of the cage. The streaking middleweight champion has even planted the seed for a Jon Jones superfight and was the one who called out “Solider of God” for their fight this weekend in Las Vegas. Needless to say, “Last Stylebender” is on a meteoric rise to the top of MMA and is ready to embrace his superstar status to the fullest.

But how dominant can Adesanya be as a UFC champion? Just ask Bisping, who believes it’s simply too early to tell.

“In terms of best champions that we’ve ever had, I mean come on mate, he’s only just f***ing won the belt, it’s a little too early for that talk,” Bisping said. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 248 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

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