KO/TKO wins: 14 (78%)
Sub. wins: 0 (0%)
Dec. wins: 4 (22%)
Adesanya is undefeated and recently became middleweight champion when he knocked out Robert Whittaker in October of last year. Also notable, Adesanya had an awesome fight against Kelvin Gastelum where he answered a lot of questions regarding durability and composure.
Adesanya has incredible striking abilities. He is a gifted puncher and kicker and has great unorthodox knees and elbows to top it all off. He can finish opponents in all kinds of ways. Adesanya is a very technical fighter but he still finishes his fights. He also has great takedown defense at 85% which will be great for him against Romero, a strong Cuban wrestler. Adesanya has big advantages in height and reach against Romero.
Now, looking at weaknesses. Adesanya has been hit before most notably against Kelvin Gastelum where he was in trouble. Despite losing, Whittaker managed to find Adesanya’s chin quite a few times at the end of his punches. Against Israel, we saw Whittaker adopt a Romero-like style where he lunged in and loaded up on his punches. If Romero can catch the champion with those strikes it might be over quickly. We’ve seen Yoel’s power on display many times; one shot is all it takes.
KO/TKO wins: 11 (85%)
Sub. wins: 0 (0%)
Dec. wins: 2 (15%)
Some might pick Romero due to his scary KO power, but he’s only won twice in the last 4 years. Yoel is 2-3 in his last 5, losing all 3 by decision. There is little doubt that age is starting to affect Romero.
Most recently he had a 3 round war with Paulo Costa where he didn’t get the nod. Romero has been in some wars in his career. Most notably the two Robert Whittaker fights where he absorbed 192 combined significant strikes and 106 of those were to the head.
Romero usually adopts a patient demeanor with a high guard when fighting five-round fights to conserve energy. He waits and looks for his opening to land a knockout. We saw it in his impressive performance against former UFC champion Luke Rockhold and in the second Whittaker bout. Adesanya will be the much younger and fresher fighter and will look to stay on the outside to outstrike Romero.
Adesanya moves around well and switches stances making him hard to hit. Romero is expecting a fight like the one he had with Rockhold, but Adesanya is younger, fresher and faster and likes to push the pace. Romero has had cardio issues in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see how his gas tank holds up against the champion.