UFC 248: Inside the Octagon - Adesanya vs RomeroMar 04, 2020
On today's show, we break down the exciting middleweight title fights at UFC 248 between reigning champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Yoel Romero. This is the latest dive into his first offense after his sensational knockouts of Robert Whittaker last October. The next goal for the wacky Kiwis is to build. His legacy as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time in his Romero, however, the champion faces one of the most fearsome fighters to ever grace the Octagon with a high nitro packed with devastating knockouts, Soldier of God will stop at nothing to finally get his hands on UFC gold hello and welcome to the UFC inside the jongen
octagonalongside Dan Hardy and today we will see some middleweight madness as reigning champion Israel Adesanya looks to defend his title for the first time against the human specimen that's Euro Romero dammit right off the bat I mean Israel understands their rise has been phenomenal two years short of two years actually to become the champion but this is why you guys , Romero, it's almost like I have chosen him if you listen to a lot of his interviews and that is a scary prospect, ideas and I have a lot of respect for him to take another fight. happy birthday to you I don't think I feel like you're Ramirez I let you in on his secret because you look like you're not over 60 I mean he's very impressive so yeah I mean you lost respect for Addison you for taking this. fight, I mean, it really wasn't necessary because Ramirez is not in a position where we would consider him the number one contender right now, but it's Yoel Romero, he has that presence and that's that aura around him that anyone who fights with him is looking. a tough night and no one has made it look easy to win or lose and no one has made it look easy so Adesanya will take this fight because he wants to show everyone that he can beat your rosemary easier than anyone else.
I just respect him for taking that challenge on because going into the 25-min full distance with your Romero or stopping him in the middle is unbelievably impressive and that to me is a huge credential in his track record. obviously those guys feel they have stress to beat this man it's a very exciting fight actually a couple of things we all know his Romero is older but it doesn't seem to matter it doesn't really matter so I'm not really reading too much about the fact that we had the taller man and in a Senya they're built very differently which will give him a reach advantage which as the striker will obviously play into his hands yeah absolutely I mean you know the height and the rishis will really play to his favor basically because the way he fights you know he keeps people on the tips of their limbs he's very very good at it and managing that distance we'll get into the only thing i'll say. about your ramiro th Although I mean a reach of six foot seventy three and a half inches it's not huge for a middleweight but because he's so fast and explosive I mean you know what a six is now for every lead when you can't do anything with sixty and you know what it is she removes that so we can negate a lot of those range advantages just putting her foot on the gas yeah that's where Sonya challenged in my opinion and how she deals with that attack we have a perfect 80 nano fighter coming up but he has a really big background in professional kickboxing and professional boxing on the other side we have of course former world champion and olympic medalist but this guy uses a lot of his experience and we talk about it as Alice or fans will always recognize y'All Romero's wrestling, but I think I'd guess he's been knocked down or knocked down ten times in all of their five-round fights.
The throw isn't much for an Olympic wrestler. No, it's not, and I'm not sure if that's more. impressive or not because he obviously uses Adesanya, we know what he's good at and he builds his game around that amazing ability, his Romero, we know he has this ace card in his pocket that he doesn't seem to use very often when we see him use it like a blows up double at the end of the round like it's an Apollo Costa fight yeah so it's almost like it's a safety net for him the fact that he has this athleticism and this power has translated into a very very successful hitting career it's not as clean and crisp as I would assign you it's very very different in the way he approaches it and a sign he would dismantle you he'll bash your head into the front row glasses and that speed he has as well as i want to say he is he has a limited hitting skill set to be fair it's a limited skill set but that limited skill set involves jumping on your knees and you know I mean savagely hitting powerful and flurries against the fence I mean even though he doesn't have the credentials and maybe the stri ability of a king that out of 10 that he does doesn't mean he's not that impactful I mean they're tied for third most takedowns in middleweight history and you would think his stats would favor wrestling more but yeah like you said he doesn't really use it mainly because it's not really necessary so far and I think Romero is getting better he's evolving and I'm sure we're going to touch on that as we get into things and let's stay with Romero because I think he's got a great body of work that city kickboxer body in the next paragraph so city kickboxing guys have a lot with what to work on and even though I just said there have been some changes to a large extent, I'm not really sure Romero really knows what he's going to do every time he goes in there.
I don't feel like he's a model type, he just has a lot of feelings and this is where the challenge for the city. The kickboxing guys in town are in very good use of the signal. looking at what's in front of him reading those movement patterns, seeing the predictability and then starting to exploit it, what we know about your Romero is predicting that unpredictability is almost impossible. I mean, he looks at this as a fake back front kick. Not the kind of techniques you have to get a flabby armpit medalist wrestler to the mat you have.
I tell you what the teacher would teach you if you were flying. I'll teach you a lead hook kick. what do you teach someone you teach them a double cross jab which is what we start to see he uses more in his later career at the beginning it was all about rocket fuel it was about getting people out of the way and you don't want this y'all Ramiro , chasing them around the obstacles around the bombs, because everything hits it with all its power and to try to shut this down to try to control it to try to put a fire blanket on this I mean Rockhold is doing everything he can to put up with this thai clinch but you know they bruise his ribs in the process everything he does is damaging because everything is 100% power at full throttle.
I just feel like these gusts are the biggest danger to Adesanya and what Addison needs to do is not stay within range and let this happen if at any point he sees the tidal wave create that momentum rising through his Rosemary stay away , yeah back off let him get it out of his system because if he didn't look that was it was two rounds of kickboxing against Machida like he kickboxed for two rounds and Machida got out in the third round. he decided he wanted to take him down he got it and Machida is unconscious mmm he will play the kickboxing game a bit like I said he is fighting in his back pocket.
I feel like before he got wrestling though that blast is really what we. We're expecting him and I mean, Romero's games are like watching a spaceship take off, but even though you know it's coming, you see everything, the smoke, the flames, and all of a sudden, it's like, well, I know it's coming, but not everyone is exactly able to get out of the way Robert Whittaker spent a lot of time with your Romero in the
octagonand I feel like when he approached him in a Sagna fight he almost took a marrow type approach which in my eyes, there has been, it's there for being like a pretty good dress rehearsal for Adesanya going into this fight with Romero, yeah it was and I was, I'll be honest, I was pretty surprised by the way I approached him at the end as well.
I mean, it was kind of like he was hoping he couldn't catch up with Sonya, he was hoping to shoot and miss the first few shots, so he started each of his flashy combinations with a little bit of running like we did. see from your rosemary the difference when I descend you fought with Gastelum is that he wanted to stay a little more in the pocket. I felt like he was approaching this fight with a little more ego, like he had a point to prove, so he kept it in range a little bit more with Gastelum and and he was using his head movement a little bit more, so he got hit. in the early rounds and I think you'll remember that fight and it led to the Whittaker fight because I mean look at that bounce off the fence he wasn't all that interested in this fight and held his own against him if Whiticus started to gain momentum , I would just give him that space and he treated this fight much more like a marathon and you know I have to beat him this round, I have to beat him this round if he lets the first round slip through his fingers and just read his movement patterns, punish him a little. and I think I think we saw a lot of evolution between the Gastelum fight and the Whitaker fight and the evolution is going to serve him very well against Romero because if you think if Romero starts and throws ten punches and misses, the next combination could be eight. blows, then it could be six at the same time. the more he misses, the less he'll throw, so when it comes to throwing one and two like you'd like him to do in the Costa fight, this is where Addison could stay within range and just pick and poke and prod and find those openings. that they will damage him in the distance like I said I don't think he will approach this as if he needs to achieve this finish in the first round he knows the danger of your rosemary that's why he knows that it is a credential for him for him to record when he fights with him a victory over his Romero, either by knockout in any time: 25 minutes or it goes to the end, the most important thing is that it is impressive and it is what is largely intact, that is, even in even in the knockout another t time against Whitaker here he measured it with that right hook but he knew he needed the left hook to finish but when we finished the left hook he fired and it was disappointing he was disappointed yeah I mean that shows where his head is because he wants to be so clinical and clean that there is no doubt that he is interesting in five rounds, not three. of greatness we are going to see more of these two fighters as Dan dives into more analysis on the other side of these welcome back to your Cs inside the jeongan octagon alongside Dan Hardy and we are talking about the middleweight title fight between Adesanya and Romero dammit we've already covered some ground maybe he'll come back on that for us ok so what do we know about his Romero?
He's a scary, dangerous individual who has explosive power at any point in the fight, so unpredictability is the challenge for Adesanya, getting too involved in a fight early on leaves him susceptible to those flying knees and wild flurries that He has, so what I expect from us I need to do and what we saw in the Whitaker fight is if you ever take advantage of that coming flurry, he'll just give him space when he feels the energy start to drain from Romero's yard, then it will be safer to stay a little bit closer to him, a little bit further in the pocket, so that when Romero starts moving forward, then you can start looking for his counters, but fight him with no ego in those first few rounds and not try to eating the octagon against Romero is the most logical, what he wants to do is play. the long game and the type of pick you are Romero to not put yourself in jeopardy of that devastating knockout power now as you look back on Romero's career for this show.
I can't be the only one who thinks there have been a few. There's some good changes to his game, particularly I think with his boxing and his defensive elements, but I want to get your thoughts on this and some more definite points of how you think he's improved, okay, just the way we like him in the first one. Midway through the show, we identified that there was a shift in TAS Enya's focus from the Gastelum fight to the Whitaker fight on the Gastelum fight. She was left in the pocket earlier in the fight. He paid because they dropped him. edit chin showed exactly that he had a chin absolutely did the same thing in the whitaker fight but still got hit when he didn't want to get hit showed he had knockout power show you have knockout power exactly i mean you know we're always learning something new things about him but what he wants to show him what he needs to show against Romero is not that he has a chin because I mean you're going to need a chin against Romero if he cuts you anyway and he doesn't have that kind of mentality where he needs finish early we need to see patience we need to see precision from him what we've seen from Romero though is a difference in the way he approaches the pace of fire and II feel like this was learned from the Whitaker fight in the first one as well because in Whitaker's first fight he came out, it was the oblique kicks he was fighting with defense takedowns and by the end of those first few rounds or two Romero seemed less than itself. and I think he felt more vulnerable when he was tired.
I think in Romero's head, if he's fresh, no one can hurt him. I mean the defensive stuff he does in the fight when under pressure against someone who has boulders for shoulders also someone like oh yeah he can really do a lot of damage if you let him I mean stuff that just bounces off him he's pretty happy of allowing the Acosta power to work Ramiro knows he has this this is a skin he has a hardening of the frame I mean people say he's made of steel but he also has good reactions he's also great at taking off his shoulders the difference between the two of these fighters is Pollock might take one to teach him he seldom used to say this you might as well send me a postcard before you before he throws that punch he ends up so big because that's his thing he's a power puncher now so show Ramiro so he can see these things coming he can read those patterns and if this had been in five rounds I mean you look at low cost par at the end of t Third, I think Ramiro probably would have put a bigger dent in him in five rounds or maybe even stopped him hmm, I feel like Ramiro is much better. five rounds, I mean, six third-round knockouts, those first two rounds, especially since the Whitaker fight, Whitaker's first fight, allows those rounds to breathe a little bit, he doesn't really seem to put his foot on the gas. in those ds rounds so I expect him to be pretty cautious in the early rounds allow Adesanya to work and just try to shoot him with that big punch and I think once the rams get into the third, fourth and fifth that's when he starts to think. he's fine, he snaps or starts walking down.
I mean, that's the change in his style. The change in style for him is that he's not bouncing. He's not moving as much as he used to. and now that frame you can't get it right, no. and I said no one could carry that for 25 minutes, so I think the new style that we've seen where he's here and he's getting closer to range shows the confidence that he can take big hits from people, the confidence that he has the reactions. in order to read what's coming and stay out of harm's way and also if Sprint's attacks don't work, he needs another way in. trying to stand on his front foot and force him back against the fence where he just has to deal with that great power, yeah, and if anyone can walk through a meteor shower, it's Romero, right?
Speaking of someone who might be throwing quite a few Barbs his way, it's Israel Adesanya. he's an elite level puncher and I'm excited about what he's going to show us because the fainting and punching tricks when done brilliantly is amazing to watch but also easily overlooked so I hope you can show us some. out of these finite details and one thing i noticed from addison here in the lead up to this he said he wants to make y'all
romerocry and this is the way he's going to do it right with his amazing yes he is and it's a constant thrashing for The 25 minutes is Adesanya's way of approaching this as if she wanted to make your Romero cry she has to be conscious while crying people don't cry when unconscious so big one. punch didn't come out he's not going to wake up in the f Loor crying he wants to slowly take your soul out throughout the fight and the beauty of the way Adesanya approaches things is that it's not if we're fighting and I'm going to throw my right hand, it's in my left hand.
I'm going to fly this wide, you're going to block it, you'll see it coming, yeah, if I go like this and you expect to see this coming now for a front kick to your face, you're not blocking the blow that's coming. you're blocking the end of the attack that you're anticipating this is where Adesanya is so good because he throws things that you anticipate and then switches them on the spot partly because he's not really committing 100% to power he's not trying to make you damage. with every punch he's trying to unlock your guard and find your weaknesses in his UFC debut against Rob Wilkinson.
Sorry, Robert, this was just a shutout. get back on his feet this was a clinic and look at the way he moves look at our slick he's our shake this is where he's hitting it you can see the reactions Wilkinson has because he thinks the shots are coming and then they're not and then something else is coming and he blocks one shot and gets hit by another which constantly discourages my defense doesn't work my gods drip I mean he's God he was like a sieve in this fight because he couldn't stop us and you're getting inside when a fighter collapsed against the covered fence on his head yes they may not have been physically beaten but his soul has been being yes you stole his soul that night and Rob Wilkinson collapsed against the fence yes that's what he's talking about it's a comprehensive beating instead of shutting it down with a single blow.
So, Dan, let's change it to Romero, and earlier you said his ability to get the finish, six of the seven knockouts of him have come in the third round, so he finds ways to win and close out the fight. sometimes around those middle rounds too, yeah, and I think as I was saying because this is a five round fight those early rounds I don't think he's going to be forced to come back to the point about you I think he would feel too much of a risk, especially since he knows on a cue you can fight hard in five rounds.
I think those early rounds is where Romero CH lags behind, firing off random shots, flying these kinds of things to try to catch him when he's too committed. I think when he gets to the third, fourth and fifth rounds, that's when we see Romero start to take the lead. We might see some outbursts early, but I think ultimately the way he's going to try to get his hands on Romero under Adesanya is to walk it alone. in the range and what we've seen in some of his fights is this I mean it's almost like he's not worried about anything he's coming home I mean he was taking Brinson down like nothing's coming back him to hurt him, I mean do that against someone like Machida who is an excellent striker, a great counter attacker really good at setting traps and luring people into things they don't want to get hit with even when he was hitting Romero, it wasn't really getting to him and this was just brutality at its best, I mean a lovely little double jab with a right hand from distance.
Let's watch the replay and appreciate that it's a beautiful contrast. The double jab simply to bring the left hand up. in that fight to really hit Rockhold, she was hitting her head to come left hand, I mean, she was exposing the same weakness that Bisping showed in Rockhold, basically because Rockhold was going down from the control hook that she came through. On top of that, but the cool thing about it in comparison is that it wasn't Romero running from one side of the Octagon to the other to hit the fence, but it was him walking into range and Rockhold backing up. g up because he knows the dangers come from trading him back to Adesanya and I've heard people talk about how they like to do their job and something that really resonated with me was when I heard someone who is particularly good at punching or just fighting in general does that things seem to be happening in slow motion and Adesanya is so elite that I feel like that's how he operates because it's just millimeters here and there and that's how you saw those opportunities I think he's one of those athletes I agree and that's his record for kickboxing that backs it up and that's in that circumstance.
I am firmly of the opinion that comfort under pressure in punching exchanges only comes from years and years and years of fighting and sparring. the pads don't because it's a bit different it's exactly that it's a light it's a live matchup with someone thinking for themselves and throwing various different techniques at you I mean 80's kickboxing matches there's probably some rematches in there but there are probably 70 different opponents, yes 70 different looks, maybe more the same with his MMA career, there have been several different looks, so he has this understanding that there are so many. there are different options and you have a good read on them and then you'll start to identify which of those reads you'll need in this fight and then you'll start applying it but the laid back nature in which you approach fights allows you to use faints and really sell them well I mean , Brad Tavares was a, I mean, Brad Tavares is a great fighter, he just couldn't read Adesanya's move and here's this little sequence that I'll show you what this is. he hits a leg kick and then a body kick, so he timed the body kick on Tavares, his head, now next, does the knee slide.
It's your back foot and keep in mind you're Brad Tavares you just took a nasty hit to the liver and your body is starting to shut this down so watch him slide in here very relaxed and you can't sit down watch you can't sell these blackouts unless you're relaxed because there will be tension, your opponent will see that you're tensing up, but throw that. a little feint slip into range and hit straight down the pipe and then head kick and again it's like 50% power 50% power he'd rather land half power than not land at all and also he knows his attack style has a snowball effect it's not like a punch it's a buildup of momentum another body shot like mixing things up and i stole it from Teddy Atlas it's one of my favorite phrases when he puts water in the basement he puts money in the bank Jocelyn gave it all she could in that fight the thing that l was the turning point in that last round is that it just took so much that he couldn't take it anymore he knew he had been hit in the body he had weakened even in the last round Adesanya hit to the body before going to the head for the takedown that constant variation of targets is not a finishing technique that is the beauty of it and it is a dismantling of the entire enemy defense This is what we talked about with John Jones is he's attacking the supply lines he's taking out the left flank he's taking out the right flank he's using that psychological propaganda to get into his opponents' heads and force them to do things they don't want to do all these things are a skill set from Adesanya and I don't know if I don't know if Ramirez faced someone who can really do that to him before Rob Whitaker is a great striker, but it's still a lot more like technical coverage distance nice and fundamentally solid well not the same kind of cheating as there is from Adesanya and th That's the point the difference here is having Romero do things he doesn't want to do and getting hit with things he doesn't expect Dan thank you so much for your thoughts and analysis, continue the conversation using the hash tag inside the Octagon at UFC europe is the mango thank you so much for watching enjoy this blockbuster of a title fight going to be great see you next time
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