Israel Adesanya is not pulling any punches about his opponent, leading up to his title defense fight against Yoel Romero.
Questions have been raised about whether the Cuban Challenger will be able to make 185 pounds by the weigh ins of UFC 248. In case he does not, Adesanya is not willing to fight him since that would mean no red ruby for his Middleweight belt.
Talking tot he media at a press conference on Friday in New Zealand, the Champ made it clear what he wants from the March 7 event in Las Vegas.
Adesanya is ready for a replacement
From what Adesanya said in the conference, Romero better buck up and put all he has into making weight, because otherwise 'The Last Stylebender' is going to take it up with a replacement instead - either way, he will be fighting to defend his belt that night.
"If he misses weight, all I know is I want 80 percent of his (expletive) check. That’s the only thing that pisses me off, because then it wouldn’t be classified with a red ruby on my belt if he doesn’t make weight, and that would really piss me off, and I would probably give the shot to someone else who deserves it. I might ask for the replacement."
In case Romero misses weight, Adesanya will be calling out Jared Cannonier or Darren Till to step in, he said. Since Cannonier pulled out of his fight with Till due to torn pectoral muscles, Till has expressed wishes to step in as a replacement for the main event as soon as his visa issues are cleared.
Adesanya specifically asked for a bout with Romero for his title defense, but it is clear from his comments that the Champ does not have much respect for him. Romero has earned his contempt by not showing up at the New Zealand session, although Adesanya himself went to a U.S. press conference earlier this month.
"He didn't even show up. I went all the way to America for one day. I showed up and did my thing. He can't even show up. The disrespect. The audacity."
Romero missing weight several times before and still getting to fight for the belt might have also added fuel to the fire. If he does make weight this time, Adesanya says Romero can expect a hard fight inside the Octagon.
"If he comes heavy with the wrestling, he better pack a lunch because he’s going to be in for a long day. Sprawl and brawl. When I sprawl, my nuts are going to be on the back of his head. I’ll push his head down, and I’ll smack him in the face with an uppercut."