Current UFC middleweight champion, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, defends his prestigious title belt against No. 3 ranked contender Yoel Romero. The 30-year-old Nigerian born athlete who’s based in New Zealand – enters the Octagon® for the first time since sensationally knocking out former middleweight kingpin Robert Whittaker last October in front of the largest arena audience in UFC® history. Adesanya will once again look to utilise his offbeat yet precise striking, capitalising on his fast footwork to overpower Romero from different angles.
Adesanya is currently 7-0 in the UFC and has seen off challenges posed by the blockbuster middleweight division including Kelvin Gastelum. But Saturday’s opponent – Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero – represents a significant obstacle in Adesanya’s current canter. Despite coming off a two-fight losing streak, the experienced 42-year-old Cuban mixed marital artist has previously demonstrated his fighting power by knocking out former champions such as Lyoto, Machida, Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold. Ultimately, Romero will hope to get Adesanya on the ground and make the most of his muscular physique with striking and grappling.
Who will be the strawweight Queen?
In the second of the night’s title showdowns, China’s Weili “Magnum” Zhang steps into the Octagon in defence of her strawweight belt against Poland’s former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. 30-year-old Zhang has taken the UFC world by storm since making her debut in 2018, winning four out of four consecutive bouts. This includes her show-stopping knock-out victory over former champion Jessica Andrade last August, taking just 42 seconds to achieve the defeat and earning herself the “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Zhang’s opponent – Joanna “JJ” Jędrzejczyk – has a wealth of experience to call upon in her pursuit of Zhang’s belt, having previous won the strawweight title in just her third ever UFC fight with a second-round knockout win over Carla Esparza in May 2015. The 32-year-old went on to defend her title five times until suffering a surprise first-round knockout against Rose Namajunas. “JJ” will undoubtedly be out to spoil Zhang’s party and take back the belt for good. Joanna’s powerful striking and speed could pose a challenge for Champ Weili, who will equally be prepared to take on the former champ. Both athletes are extremely talented and bring a multitude of skills to the Octagon. Joanna will be eager to showcase her spectacular striking inside the Octagon and Zhang determined to retain the strawweight title with her strength, this is going to be an exciting match up not to be missed.
The Great Dane
Denmark’s Mark O. Madsen, having attended the Olympics on three occasions as a wrestler and winning a silver medal in 2016, will have another chance to show the world his exceptional wrestling skills against American Austin Hubbard in this much anticipated lightweight bout. The 35-year-old Dane – who calls himself “The Olympian” – made a convincing start in his UFC debut last September by knocking out Italian Danilo Belluardo on home soil. Madsen’s distinguished grappling acumen has captured the attention of the lightweight division and will be looking to further build his reputation on Saturday night.
Looking to make his own mark in this division, Hubbard bounced back from a debut loss to Davi Ross last May with a unanimous decision win over Kyle Prepolec just a few months later. The Illinois-born fighter, Hubbard, has held multiple titles through his professional MMA career, amassing eleven victories with five by way of decision. The American – who first got himself into mixed martial arts while studying for a Criminal Justice degree at college – will be determined to impress on US soil and steal the limelight his Danish opponent has recently been enjoying. Tune in to watch the action as it unfolds this weekend.
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya vs. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero
Zhang “Magnum” Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose
Neil Magny vs. Li “The Leech” Jingliang
Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Max “Pain” Griffin
Sean “Sugar” O’Malley vs. Jose “El Teco” Quinonez
Mark “The Olympian” Madsen vs. Austin “Thud” Hubbard
Rodolfo Vieira vs. Saparbeg Safarov
Gerald “GM3” Meerschaert vs. Deron Winn
Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire vs. Polyana “Dama de Ferro” Viana
Giga Chikadze vs. Jamall “Pretty Boy” Emmers
Daana “Storm” Batgerel vs. Guido “Ninja” Cannetti