UFC 248 went down last night (Sat., March 7, 2020) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Israel Adesanya defending his middleweight title after out-scoring Yoel Romero in a rather lackluster headlining bout (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Weili Zhang defended her women’s strawweight title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in an epic back-and-forth title fight for the ages. (highlights)
Biggest Winner: Weili Zhang
If you didn’t think Zhang was a star before, all the doubters were convinced after her epic performance in her classic title fight against Jedrzejczyk. For five rounds, the talented 115-pounders went toe-to-toe, resulting in one of the best fights of all time and a successful title defense for “Magnum.” Indeed, Weili proved that she can take a licking and keep on ticking, and that China has a bonafide star, as does UFC. That is now 21 straight wins for Zhang, who proved to the rest of the division that if they want to dethrone her, they better pack a lunch and be prepared to work overtime, as she is one tough nut to crack and won’t give up her title easily. It was an all-time performance from both ladies that had everyone singing their praises after the dust settled.
Runner Up: Sean O’Malley
Yes, there were other impressive wins throughout the night that could’ve earned this spot, but for O’Malley, it was a big win for so many reasons. For starters, getting a win after a two-year layoff that saw him battle United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) throughout, was big for his stock and his confidence. And as I mentioned in this piece, Dana White is really high on “Suga Sean,” but to keep the favor, the former “Contender Series” alum had to deliver on his end. And he did just that by knocking out Jose Quinonez in the very first round, proving that the hype and push around him is indeed justified. He also earned an extra $50,000 in post-fight bonus money, which is much-welcomed since his income was likely limited during his extended hiatus.
Biggest Loser: Yoel Romero
What strategy Romero conjured up in the lab is beyond what anyone can comprehend, as “Soldier of God” simply didn’t bring it come fight night. It was a bizarre performance from one of the most dangerous and violent fighters in the history of the sport, leaving everyone scratching their heads afterward, Dana White included. The loss is three in a row for Romero, who may have just competed in his final title fight inside the Octagon. That’s not to say Romero can’t string together some wins in quick fashion to put his name into consideration again, but he will still have to convince Dana White and Co. once he gets there. And as everyone knows, turning White’s frown upside down is easier said than done.
For complete UFC 248 results and coverage click here.