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Israel Adesanya Outlines Why He’s Asked For a Scrap With Yoel Romero Next

Recently Israel Adesanya [1] buzzed the MMA world, and fired up Yoel Romero by calling for a bout with the longtime, middleweight contender. Well, now the UFC’s middleweight champ has explained why he wants to throw hands with the decorated wrestler.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Adesanya tells Romero he’ll see him “soon”

Since Paulo Costa defeated Romero by decision in August, and because the rising Brazilian star has gone 13-0 to date, he was expected to challenge Adesanya next. The latter unified the middleweight belts at UFC 243 last month, by taking out Robert Whittaker in the second round.

But, after it was announced that Costa’s had to underdog surgery on his bicep, Adesanya told Romero he’d see him “soon”. [2] The Cuban fighter made it pretty clear that he’s more than willing to face the undefeated, vaunted striker.

Adesanya explains his callout

Well, while talking to MMA Fighting [3] more recently, Adesanya was asked why he’s calling for a fight with Romero. The Nigerian born fighter and New Zealand resident said this:

“I want to defend my title again in February or March,” Adesanya said. “Because homeboy [Paulo Costa], the guy I called out next, he’s been put out for a while. He can’t fight for eight months so I want to try and get whoever I can, probably [Yoel] Romero is who I’m asking for, either February or March.”

“Nope, that’s not the fight as a matchmaker I’d get next because the guy’s coming off a loss,” Adesanya explained. “Not just one, not just two but three of his last four fights have been losses. That’s not the smart move to make next but as me, as a fighter I want to fight the guy everyone thinks can beat me.

“Everyone was hyping up the Robert [Whittaker] fight like how are you going to beat Robert? He went 10 rounds with Romero! I was like and the f*ck what? At the press conference, I said ‘so the f*ck what?’. He’s good but people think he’s this boogieman, maybe it’s just the muscle thing but everybody thinks muscles win fights but not in this era.”

So, if you’re a fan of fighters who want to test themselves against the best-of-the-best, no matter their style, these comments are pretty admirable. On paper, a lot of people would argue Romero poses a big threat to Adesanya’s undefeated record (18-0) on account of his wrestling.

Now the question is, will the UFC book this fight? Even though Romero is coming off a loss to Costa and has dropped three of his last four bouts as Adesanya noted? The only other obvious option – aside from waiting until Costa’s ready to go – would be Adesanya – Jared Cannonier.