Although UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, managed to successfully defend his title against Yoel Romero at UFC 248, it wasn't quite the spectacle fans were hoping it would be. There was very little action in the 25 minute affair as the two counter-punchers nullified each other's attacks throughout.
Romero landed the some of the more noteworthy blows, using his trademark explosiveness to crack Adesanya on the odd occasion during the fight. However, the most significant damage was done by the champion, as he landed a number of vicious kicks to Romero's right leg. By the fifth round, the welts and bruises were clearly causing the Cuban some discomfort.
Despite the lack of action, Adesanya did just enough to retain his belt and set-up a dream match-up with fellow undefeated middleweight and heavy-handed knockout artist, Paulo Costa, at some point this year.
Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk have an early contender for Fight of the Year, as the two strawweights went to war for the 115lb title. It was a brutal battle between the two ladies, with both having brilliant moments inside the Octagon tonight.
Jędrzejczyk showed throughout the fight that she still had championship quality, showcasing her trademark brutal Muay Thai attacks are still as ever. It was a brilliant reminder of how savage she can be when she's at her very best mentally and physically.
Even though the Jędrzejczyk's performance was extremely impressive, Zhang proved why she's quickly becoming one of the most feared champions in the entire promotion. The 30-year old didn't back down from any of her opponent's pressure, standing toe-to-toe with the former titleholder and scoring with some crushing strikes. Although it was a close fight and both fighters left the Octagon battered, the champ did just enough in the eyes of judges tonight.
While the first five minutes of their battle might've been enough to bore you to sleep, the second round between top-25 lightweights, Beneil Dariush and Drakkar Klose, was an absolute barnburner that ended in an incredibly dramatic finish.
Dariush won the first round by lumping onto Klose's back while he's standing, frustrating the 31-year old and the fans in the T-Mobile Arena in the process. However, Klose came into the second stanza with violent intentions, landing a nice right hand that seemed to have Dariush hurt.
However, the Kings MMA fighter managed to regroup himself and fire back at Klose as he waded in for the finish. As Dariush poured on the pressure and forced his opponent back towards the Octagon cage, he landed a left hand that sent him flying back towards the cage unconscious, causing the crowd to erupt in applause.
Israel Adesanya defeats Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
Zhang Weili defeats Joanna Jędrzejczyk via split decision (48-47. 48-47. 47-48
Beneil Dariush defeats Drakkar Klose via knockout (Round 2, 1:00)
Neil Magny defeats Li Jingliang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-37. 30-37)
Alex Oliveira defeats Max Griffin via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
ESPN Preliminary Card
Sean O'Malley defeats Jose Alberto Quinonez via (Round 1, 2:02)
Mark O. Madesen defeats Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rodolfo Vieira defeats Saparbek Safarov via arm triangle choke (Round 1, 2:58)
Gerald Meerschaert defeats Deron Winn via rear naked choke (Round 3, 2:13)
Preliminary Card Results
Giga Chikadze defeats Jamall Emmers via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Danaa Batgerel defeats Guido Cannetti via knockout (Round 1, 3:01)
UFC 248 Performance Bonuses
Fight of The Night: Zhang Weili Vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
Performance of the Night: Beneil Dariush and Sean O'Malley