UFC 248, which took place last night (Sat., March 7, 2020) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, could have been remembered as one of the greatest pay-per-view (PPV) events in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Instead, it will be remembered for producing one of the greatest championship title fights in UFC history, which came just minutes after the promotion announced that Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 was headed to the UFC hall of fame.
Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title against power-punching contender, Yoel Romero, in a five-round stinker that was supposed to be a stand-up war. Unfortunately for fans, there was little-to-no action and a lot of ... weirdness.
Mostly from Romero.
The stakes were fairly high for both men after Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk went to hell and back through 25 minutes of face-punching insanity. “Magnum” was able to retain her strawweight title by split decision, turning the Pole into a swollen, deformed version of herself in the process.
See that awful pic here.
“You see my swelling, I felt this,” Jedrzejczyk said after the fight. “From the third round the swelling was bothering me. It started to get more and more swollen and my head was like going on and off. But all good, congrats champ, I’m happy we were able to give you a good fight.”
Not just good, one of the best of all time.
That’s significant because there was a point in time when promotion president, Dana White, refused to allow women to compete inside the Octagon. That all changed when Strikeforce made Ronda Rousey a star back in 2012.
Strikeforce was eventually swallowed up by UFC.
The tepid main event not only sent Yoel Romero to his third straight loss, it also took some of the momentum away from Adesanya, who used his previous finish over Robert Whittaker to hype fights against heavier champions like Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic.
“These guys are so afraid, get out of there,” top contender, Paulo Costa, shouted from cageside. “I’m ready.”
Costa was last seen defeating Romero to earn his title shot against Adesanya and now that his biceps injury has healed, we can expect “The Eraser” to battle “The Last Stylebender” for the 185-pound strap at some point later this year.
But after UFC 248, I’m more interested in what’s next for Zhang and Jedrzejczyk.
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