UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at the press conference
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at the press conference | Pic: Benjamin Cooke / Throwdown Photography

Israel Adesanya is scheduled for his UFC middleweight title defense against Yoel Romero on March 8 (AEDT). “The Last Stylebender” confirmed the bout on the Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. The pair is expected to square off at UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

In another recent interview, UFC President Dana White advised that the date was set. When asked why the fight is yet to be officially announced, Adesanya said “there are other battles going behind the scenes, but the [Romero] fight is done.”

Israel Adesanya (13-0) initially earned the interim belt in a five-round war against Kelvin Gastelum. Early October last year he stopped former champion Robert Whittaker in the second round and claimed the undisputed title.

“They keep saying interim. That was my UFC title win. Let me make it clear on record. That was my UFC title win against Kelvin Gastelum,” Israel Adesanya said. “Also congrats to him as well, because it takes two to tangle. I couldn’t have done it by myself.”

“That was my first UFC undisputed title win. That fight in Melbourne [against Robert Whittaker] was my first title defense.”

“My second title defense is against the veteran in the game, veteran in wrestling, Yoel Romero. He is the first one, and I want to defend my belt three times this year. At least three times.”

Yoel Romero (13-4) lost his previous bout in August 2019 by unanimous decision against Paulo Costa. Yet, “Soldier of God” is one of the top contenders in the division. In 2018 he suffered the defeat by split decision against Whittaker and KO’d Luke Rockhold in Round 3.

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