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UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero picks and predictions

After claiming the interim middleweight championship at UFC 236 and then unifying the title at UFC 243, undefeated MMA all-star Israel Adesanya will be defending his belt this Saturday, March 7, at UFC 248 against challenger Yoel Romero. Women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang will also be defending her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and with two championships on the line and a star-studded main card, UFC 248 is sure to prove an exciting time for MMA fans around the world.

As a pay-per-view event, UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero will be watchable live only with an ESPN+ subscription, and this bundle offer makes right now a great chance to sign up and take $30 off the UFC 248 PPV package. Then, it’s time to read on below to find out more about the main fights at UFC 248 and to see our own predictions for the two championship bouts.

Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero

UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero on ESPN+ - picks and predictions
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With an undefeated record of 18-0, Israel Adesanya is one of the UFC’s most dominant talents right now. His aggressive strike-heavy style, owed to his extensive kickboxing background, has earned him 14 victories via knockout, the remaining four coming by decision. Adesanya’s opponent is Yoel Romero, a Cuban martial artist who, despite being ranked third on the UFC middleweight roster, has his work cut out for him if he hopes to unseat the champion at UFC 248.

Romero is another aggressive knockout artist with a solid professional record of 13-4 and 11 wins by knockout, but it’s noteworthy that two of those four losses came from a recent string of back-to-back defeats. The Cuban fighter will understandably be very hungry for a win to prove he’s still got it – but it will take much more than that for the 42-year-old fighter to best a talent like Adesanya.

Our Prediction: It’s possible that Romero could withstand the defending champ’s penchant for striking until the match goes by a decision (or even get lucky and take things to the mat), but we’re not anticipating any huge surprises here and expect Israel Adesanya to do what he’s best at – taking the victory via knockout.

Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili
Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images

The UFC 248 co-main event is a women’s strawweight championship bout between current champ Weili Zhang and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, two of the most dominant female fighters in the MMA world. Both women are known for their powerful, strike-heavy fighting styles and both have impressive MMA records: Jedrzejczyk with 16 professional wins and 3 losses, and Zhang with 20 victories and only one defeat (which was her 2013 debut match in the China MMA League — she has won every fight since).

Weili Zhang signed with the UFC in 2018 and has continued that great win streak so far. She claimed the women’s strawweight title in her last fight when she defeated Jessica Andrade via TKO at UFC Fight Night 157, meaning that UFC 248 will be her first title defense. Jedrzejczyk, on the other hand, has had a rougher time lately – all three of her professional MMA defeats have been within her last five matches, and as much as she may want it, it will be a tall order for her to stop Zhang’s momentum and reclaim the title belt she lost to Rose Namajunas in 2017.

Our prediction: We don’t expect Jedrzejczyk’s quick footwork to save her from a pummeling by Zhang, who is clearly the more powerful fighter here. Zhang is the second of the two defending champs at UFC 248, and we also predict that she will retain her title with a knockout win.

UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero is a pay-per-view event, so you’ll need ESPN+ if you’re hoping to watch it live this Saturday (the main card starts at 10 p.m. ET). The good news for new subscribers is that this bundle offer makes now the perfect time to sign on: It nets you a year’s subscription to ESPN+ along with the UFC 248 pay-per-view package for just $85, saving you $30 off the price when buying them separately.

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