Newly Crowned World Champions Make First Title Defenses at UFC 248

Las Vegas – UFC® returns to T-Mobile Arena with two thrilling world championship bouts. Undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya goes for another show-stealing performance against No. 3 ranked contender Yoel Romero. Strawweight champion Zhang Weili will take on the toughest test of her career when she meets former titleholder and No. 4 ranked contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

UFC® 248: ADESANYA vs. ROMERO will take place Saturday, March 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will stream live on Pay-Per-View, exclusively through ESPN+ in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in both English and Spanish.

ESPN+ is the exclusive provider of all UFC Pay-Per-View events to fans in the U.S. as part of an agreement announced in March.

Fans will be able to purchase UFC® 248: ADESANYA vs. ROMERO online at ESPNPlus.com/PPV or on the ESPN App on mobile and connected-TV devices. ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App on all major mobile and connected TV devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, X Box One and more.

Preliminary fights will air nationally in English on ESPN and on ESPN Deportes (in Spanish) starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT with the early prelims simulcast on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+ at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT.

Among the standout fighters of 2019, Adesanya (18-0, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand by way of Lagos, Nigeria) capped off the year by dethroning middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in front of the largest-ever UFC live audience. The former kickboxer has also earned spectacular victories against Kelvin Gastelum, Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson. Adesanya now looks to kick off his 2020 with another highlight-reel finish to secure his first successful title defense.

A perennial contender at 185 pounds, Romero (13-4, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba) is considered one of the most dangerous competitors in the entire sport. The 2000 Olympic silver medalist wrestler has delivered sensational knockout wins over former UFC champions Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. Romero now aims to achieve his destiny by capturing UFC gold and handing Adesanya his first MMA loss.

The first Chinese UFC champion, Zhang (20-1, fighting out of Beijing, China) made history when she delivered a spectacular 42-second knockout against Jessica Andrade in August to capture the title. Riding a 20-fight win streak, Zhang has also netted impressive victories over Tecia Torres, Jessica Aguilar and Danielle Taylor since joining the UFC roster in 2018. Zhang now aims to secure her first successful title defense against the former strawweight queen.

The most dominant champion in UFC strawweight history, Jedrzejczyk (16-3, fighting out of Olsztyn, Poland) successfully defended her title five times during a reign that lasted more than two years. Throughout her career, she has delivered thrilling victories against Michelle Waterson, Claudia Gadelha (twice), Jessica Penne and Carla Esparza. Jedrzejczyk now aims to further add to her legacy by becoming the first fighter to reclaim the UFC’s 115-pound championship.

Additional bouts on the card include:

In a pivotal middleweight bout, No. 8 ranked contender Derek Brunson (20-7, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.) takes on undefeated No. 9 Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0, fighting out of Glendale, Calif.)
Fan favorite Alex Oliveira (19-8-1 2NC, fighting out of Tres Rios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) faces Max Griffin (15-7, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) in an exciting welterweight bout
Unbeaten grappling ace Rodolfo Vieira (6-0, fighting out of Orlando, Fla. by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) takes on Saparbek Safarov (9-2, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia)
No. 15 ranked welterweight contender Neil Magny (21-8, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) meets surging Li Jingliang (16-5, fighting out of Beijing, China)
In an exciting lightweight bout, Beneil Dariush (17-4-1, fighting out of Yorba Linda, Calif.) squares off with Drakkar Klose (11-1-1, fighting out of Glendale, Calif.)
Emily Whitmire (4-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) takes on Polyana Viana (10-4, fighting out of São Geraldo do Araguaia, Para, Brazil) in a strawweight bout
Danaa Batgerel (6-2, fighting out of Erdenetsagaan, Sukhbaatar, Mongolia) faces Guido Cannetti (8-4, fighting out of San Antonio de Padua, Buenos Aires, Argentina) in a bantamweight bout

Author: Fight Game Asia

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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