UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is one of the most confident mixed martial artists you’ll ever come across.
So much so, in fact, that he called out the man that many believe is the worst stylistic matchup for him in the 185-pound division, Yoel Romero. Now, Adesanya will make his first-ever middleweight title defense against Romero in the main event of the UFC 248 pay-per-view (PPV) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 7.
Ahead of the contest, Adesanya spoke to “Submission Radio” on the program’s special 200th episode. During the interview, Adesanya broke down his upcoming bout with Romero. When looking back on his most difficult matchups, naming Anderson Silva as his most difficult fight mentally, and Kelvin Gastelum as his most difficult physically, “Stylebender” said he thinks he’s going to “make it look easy” against the Cuban powerhouse.
“I’ve had some tough tests. Right now, I still think Kelvin has been my toughest fight so far physically. Mentally, Anderson has been my toughest fight so far. But, we’ll see. That’s yet to be said. I don’t think he’s gonna be. Like, the way the match is shaping up, I don’t really think he’s gonna be. I think he’s gonna be quite… not easy, but I’ll make it look easy.
“I said that about the Robert fight, cause everyone was counting me out. They said, ‘man, this is it, nah, you can’t fuck with Robert’, this and that. And I said I’ll make it look easy. And what did I do? I made it look easy. I just feel that way for this one as well. I don’t think… Yoel is a guy who’s fought someone who just stays in front of him. He stays in front of him, and yeah, he likes a punching bag, and that I am not.”
That’s not to say Adesanya will be taking Romero lightly. The middleweight champion understands that Romero is notorious for late bursts in fights, oftentimes finishing his opponents late in contests with a sudden rush of adrenaline. Adesanya said Romero’s ability to lure you into a false sense of security is, perhaps, the most dangerous thing about “The Soldier Of God.”
“That he’ll lull you into a false sense of security where you feel like you can kind of coast or you’re in control, and he’ll just explode. So, you have to stay on with him at all points. You can’t just drift off, you can’t just coast in your mind. But also, his wrestling I think should be his strong suit. Cause he’s an Olympian and all this shit, but he rarely ever uses it. So, I’m hoping he uses it in this fight. I want to see what that wrestling’s about.”
What do you think about Adesanya predicting he’ll “make it look easy” against Yoel Romero?