In the evening’s main event, Israel Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight title in a unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero. “The Last Stylebender” now improves to a perfect 19-0 career record after defeating one of the most feared contenders in the division.
- Disappointed in his opponent’s performance, Adesanya said: “After the fight, I was really frustrated that my dance partner didn’t want to dance. A guy like Kelvin Gastelum, he brought the fight. Robert Whittaker, he brought the fight. It takes two to tango, so if I’m trying to fight and you’re just standing there like, “c’mon, c’mon” that’s stupid. I took his best shot in the first round, that was probably the only round that I gave him. He has a good poker face, he’s playing but his legs didn’t lie. I’ve never been in a boring fight, I was expecting more of a fight from him. That’s how he catches a lot of people – they get bored. My coaches told me I needed 25 minutes of focus and I stayed focused the whole time. I won the fight at the end of the day, I did my best. On a bad night, I still beat the No. 3 guy in the world.”
- In the co-main event, China’s Weili Zhang retained her strawweight title by defeating Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk via split decision in one of the most memorable bouts of recent memory, marking International Women’s Day in true style.
- Speaking inside the Octagon directly after the bout, Zhang said:“Thank you everyone for cheering me on back at home. It was a very serious fight but we made it. We stay together, we come together, we fight together. We can defeat the coronavirus – everyone in our country is suffering from this tragedy right now, but we will defeat it. We are all mixed martial artists here, we didn’t want any trash talk within the Octagon, we want mutual respect. We wanted to set a good example for the kids, a good example to the emerging talent who are watching.”
- Israelian lightweight Beneil Dariush defeated Drakkar Klose with an extraordinary KO in the 2nd round. With the victory, Dariush extends his winning streak to 4 straight UFC victories and looks set to climb the lightweight rankings.
- Reflecting on his performance, Dairush said: “Feels great to get the win, I thought it was going to be a submission, but I’ll take that too. I had his back forever, so in the second round my legs were a little wobbly and I knew I had to use my arms more. I think I have to work on getting my chokes in with the gloves, it’s too easy to grab my fingers and defend, so I have to figure that out. I knew I was tired in the second round, but I was confident in my cardio and recovery, so I just kept moving forward. He hit me pretty hard, but I wasn’t hurt. I just have this problem where if you hit me, then I’m fine with trading and seeing what happens. Probably not the best habit, but I’ll work on that. I honestly didn’t know that last shot connected so well, but once I saw him go down I knew it was over.”
- Sean O’Malley was successful in his long-awaited return to the Octagon, securing a comfortable TKO victory over Jose Quinonez inside of Round 1. Despite a two-year absence “Sugar” dominated the contest and maintained his perfect professional record.
- Discussing his journey back to the Octagon, O’Malley said: “I felt great in there, it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been two years, but it’s good to be back. I’ve been through a lot to get here, I had two surgeries, two pulled fights, it was a lot. I didn’t know how I would feel making that walk, I tried to picture it in my head so many times, but you never know until you are out there. I felt great, it felt right. I think I’m the best MMA striker out there. I know a lot of people won’t agree with that because they haven’t really got to see it, but I truly believe I am the best MMA striker. I trained so hard and so much for this, it’s hard to put into words just how much all of this means. I’d like to come back as quickly as possible now really, I’m not hurt, I’m in shape, so whatever they call with.”