Sunday, October 25, 2020

UFC 248 Predictions: Adesanya vs. Romero

UFC 248 is upon us.

The event will be held inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow night (March 7). Headlining the card will be a middleweight title clash between champion Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero. The co-main event will see strawweight title holder Weili Zhang put her gold on the line against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Also featured on the main card will be a lightweight battle between Drakkar Klose and Beneil Dariush.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 248 updates. Earlier today, we covered the weigh-ins, which you can see the results for here. Myself, Ed Carbajal, and Andrew Ravens have once again linked up to provide main card predictions for UFC 248.

Take a look at the bouts set for the main card:

  • Middleweight: Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero
  • Strawweight: Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Lightweight: Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Welterweight: Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang
  • Welterweight: Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin

Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero

Fernando Quiles Jr.: I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think this matchup bodes well for Romero. In his last outing with Paulo Costa, Romero looked very sloppy at times. Adesanya can easily make him pay with counters if Romero swings wild. I do expect Romero to try to blitz Adesanya but he will inevitably slow down and get picked apart on the feet. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

Ed Carbajal: This intriguing match for the middleweight title is not easy to pick. While Adesanya’s striking, range, and youth makes him a heavy favorite, Romero is not the type of opponent fighters are lining up to go against. The older man in Romero is also the more explosively athletic one which makes him very dangerous in the early rounds. Still, it’s hard to pick against Adesanya’s range and superior striking. However, he took a lot of damage against Kelvin Gastelum and this likely being Romero’s last shot at a title, he could get the upset and shock us all. (Prediction: Yoel Romero)

Andrew Ravens: Everyone knows why this fight was booked but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that Romero, who is always dangerous, is on a two-fight losing streak. I could be in the minority here but if Adesanya wins then fans will bring up this fact and if he drops a loss then he’ll be criticized for taking the fight with no real upside. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I see Adesanya successfully retaining the title by decision. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Israel Adesanya

Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Fernando Quiles Jr.: On the feet, Jedrzejczyk is still one of the most technically sound fighters in MMA. With that said, I think Zhang’s offense will throw the former strawweight queen for a loop. Jedrzejczyk has expressed her belief that Zhang is similar to Jessica Andrade. I think this mindset could be what dooms Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk usually finds success in the clinch but I think Zhang has her beat when it gets to that position and she will rain down knees to stop the challenger. (Prediction: Weili Zhang)

Ed Carbajal: Zhang is a heavy favorite and winning the title with a first-round finish makes it hard to argue against that. However, Andrade won the title by capitalizing on a mistake Rose Namajunas made when she got slammed by Andrade. While MMA math is really not plausible, both women have wins over Andrade who in fairness is not as technically savvy as these two strawweights. They both hold wins over Andrade and Zhang is the one that got the finish, but that does not mean she can dominate Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk might be able to pull this one off by decision if she performs the way she did against Waterson. (Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk)

Andrew Ravens: This should be a great fight and a striker’s delight. Still, Joanna is 2-3 her last five and only won one fight to get this title shot. The thing here is that she’s a name that UFC brass knows if Welili can get past then it will increase her star power and thus the fight was booked. I have Weili, who will get a tough challenge from Joanna, winning by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Weili Zhang)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Weili Zhang

Drakkar Klose vs. Beneil Dariush

Fernando Quiles Jr.: I really like this fight. Klose wants to have a breakthrough performance in hopes of cracking the top 15 UFC lightweight rankings. As for Dariush, he’s looking to show that he’s found the recipe for more consistent success at 155 pounds. Klose knows how to run away with decision wins just when you think the fight was down to the wire. I expect another close decision win for Klose here. (Prediction: Drakkar Klose)

Ed Carbajal: This fight is probably more even than it appears when you look at the strengths of both men. While Dariush is more of a finisher, having a bit more experience comes with its share of losses. Klose has only one loss which was by decision and that could mean, he is hard to finish. Dariush has no decision losses on his record but he does have four wins by KO/TKO and he could get another one at the hands of Klose. (Prediction: Drakkar Klose)

Andrew Ravens: A tough fight to call as both fighters are on a three-fight winning streak. The only difference here is the fact that Klose dominates his opponents and Dariush finishes them. I have Klose getting another decision win as I strictly think the fact that he’s younger and has more upside will be the key to victory for him. (Prediction: Drakkar Klose)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Drakkar Klose

Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang

Fernando Quiles Jr.: This is a solid test for Jingliang. Magny is always game and has appeared to be somewhat of a gatekeeper at 170 pounds. Of course, Magny probably takes exception to that tag and wants to prove otherwise. I don’t think he will on this night as Jingliang knows how to finish and Magny has been worse for the wear as of late. (Prediction: Li Jingliang)

Ed Carbajal: Magny is the veteran in this matchup but is coming off of a tough KO loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio. Facing someone like Jingliang who has a decent finishing rate by way of knockouts might not be the best fight for him. That along with the time he has been fighting might make for a bad night for Magny. While only a year older than his opponent, the wear and tear on his body might make for a bad night against Jingliang. (Prediction: Li Jingliang)

Andrew Ravens: A different world for these two stars as Magny is coming off a loss while Jingliang enters this fight on a three-fight winning streak and he’s 9-3 under the UFC banner. I think Li puts on a classic performance over Magny with him getting a KO win in the second round. (Prediction: Li Jingliang)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Li Jingliang

Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin

Fernando Quiles Jr.: When two fighters have their backs against the wall and are booked against one another, it can create an exciting matchup. I think that’ll be the case with Oliveira vs. Griffin. I see Griffin trying to mix up his striking with his wrestling. He could bring Oliveira down but I don’t think he’ll hold him there. I can see Oliveira’s striking edge being a difference-maker. (Prediction: Alex Oliveira)

Ed Carbajal: Oliveira and Griffin are both coming off of losses. However, Olivera’s three losses in a row trumps Griffin’s single, recent loss but he had a few defeats before his last win too. This may be a loser leaves the UFC match and if either fighter knows that, they will likely try to get a finish. If that’s the case, Oliveira probably has the tools to win at UFC 248 since he has a little more than half of his victories by knockout. (Prediction: Alex Oliveira)

Andrew Ravens: A real pick-em fight as Oliveira has dropped three straight fights before accepting this bout while Griffin has gone 2-3 in his last five bouts. Thus, it’s a tough choice to see who could win this fight. I’m siding with Oliveira here because I can’t see him losing four straight fights. Thus, I have him picking up the split decision win. (Prediction: Alex Oliveira)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Alex Oliveira

That’ll do it for the UFC 248 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 248.

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