Bet of the Card: (2u) Joanna Jedrzejczyk @+150
Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
Co-Main Event Women’s UFC Strawweight (115lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 11:30 p.m. EST
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk ranks second overall on the UFC’s (all-time) longest average fight time list at 18 minutes and 59 seconds. This will be her eleventh five round fight for the promotion (UFCStats.com).
This week’s bet of the card is on the former strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Prior to losing her crown to Rose Namajunas back in November 2011, Jedrzejczyk was regarded as one of the most unrivalled UFC champions. She had won six straight title fights in dominating fashion, largely down to her pinpoint striking, excellent cardio, and phenomenal anti-wrestling.
Since then she’s remained the same calibre of fighter, yet the public perception has cooled on her due to her loss against flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, and her back-to-back defeats to Namajunas.
Weili Zhang has had a meteoric rise to the title, winning just three fights before beating Jessica Andrade to become China’s first ever UFC champion. Not to discredit Zhang’s accomplishments, but excluding her emphatic win over Andrade for the belt, she doesn’t really hold any wins over the top fighters in the strawweight division. Her first win was a decision victory over the limited Danielle Taylor, she then quickly armbarred veteran Jessica Aguilar, before then beating the rapidly declining Tecia Torres.
There’s no understating how good she’s looked in each of those fights, but it’s hard to assess someone as a top fighter when they’ve only had 42 seconds of cage time against elite opposition.
Zhang unquestionably will have the edge in physicality, her 5' 4" frame is built to capacity and I expect her to utilize it well in any clinch situations.
It will be of the utmost importance for Joanna to keep at range and pepper Zhang with timely shots, thus minimalizing Zhang’s openings to grapple or throw hard shots in close. We’ve only ever seen Joanna fight someone with Zhang’s power once before, and that was against Jessica Andrade, a fight she won dominantly, out landing her 225 to 83 on significant strikes (pictured below).
Zhang may stylistically be a different and arguably better striker than Andrade, but Joanna’s keys to victory in that fight will be much the same. She needs to use her speed and movement to get in and out of range to land accurate shots, whilst keeping perpetual movement to keep Zhang missing and steadily fatiguing as the fight wears on. Joanna has a wealth of five round experience, and she should be able to avoid Zhang’s early power in order to beat her down the stretch.
Take Jedrzejczyk on the moneyline at +150, I think she should arguably be the slight favorite in this bout.
(1u) Yoel Romero @ +240
Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero
Main Event UFC Middleweight (185lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 00:15 a.m. EST
- Yoel Romero is 6-2 as an underdog, and he’s never been finished in the UFC (per Tapology).
My pick for UFC 248’s main event is the ever dangerous, Yoel Romero.
The Cuban perennial middleweight contender has seen his fair share of title shots in the UFC, but for one reason or another, the belt has always eluded him. He’s now 42 years of age (allegedly), but his athleticism and physique is still that of a prime NFL linebacker. He won silver in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and although he rarely uses his wrestling anymore, it does remain a useful weapon should a moment call for him to use it.
Romero’s strongest attributes lie within his extremely explosive striking and great durability. His gas tank may faulter early due to his age and size, but his willpower and endurance means he remains a threat through the duration of fights.
Adesanya’s kickboxing background provided him with the perfect base to dominate the UFC’s current middleweight landscape. His striking is by far the best in the division and as a result, he was able to amass six UFC wins in just 14 months, before capturing the undisputed title from Robert Whittaker last year. He now has a flawless 18-0 record in MMA, and his grappling skills only look to be improving from one fight to the next.
I see this fight playing out favorably for Adesanya in the early goings. He’ll be careful to stay well out of Romero’s range, looking to land jabs and a variety of kicks. This style of fighting is much like what we’re used to seeing from Romero’s opponents, but it’s one that’s hard to implement successfully over the course of a fight.
His sheer power and unorthodox herky-jerky movement means that sooner or later, he’ll be left with a window to capitalize in. He’ll either lurch or lunge, offsetting his opponent, before he then uncorks an overhand or explodes in with a flying knee. Many fighters are savvy to this, but so few are able to stop it. Take Yoel Romero to the upset victory here at +240.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero
Location & Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Start time: Main Card: 10 p.m. EST, Prelims 8 p.m. EST, Early Prelims 6:15 p.m. EST
Where to watch: Main Card on Pay-Per-View, Prelims on ESPN, Early Prelims on ESPN+
UFC Odds: Click here to view the full list of odds for UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero
UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero Full Fight Card Predictions
UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero Main Event Prediction
Middleweight (185lbs): Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero – Romero via KO/TKO
UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero Main Card Predictions
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk – Jedrzejczyk via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose – Dariush via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Neil Magny vs. Jingliang Li – Magny via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin – Griffin via Decision
UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero Prelim Card Predictions
Bantamweight (135lbs): Sean O’Malley vs. Jose Quinonez – O’Malley via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Mark Madsen vs. Austin Hubbard – Madsen via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Rodolfo Vieira vs. Saparbeg Safarov – Vieira vis Submission
Middleweight (185lbs): Gerald Meerschaert vs. Deron Winn – Meerschaert via Decision
UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero Early Prelim Card Predictions
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Emily Whitmire vs. Polyana Viana – Viana via Submission
Featherweight (145lbs): Jamall Emmers vs. Giga Chikadze – Emmers via Submission
Bantamweight (135lbs): Guido Cannetti vs. Danaa Batgerel – Cannetti via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.