Israel Adesanya is putting his middleweight belt on the line vs Yoel Romero in Las Vegas for UFC 248 this Saturday. The women’s strawweight title fight is also on the card with Zhang Weili defending the belt against long time holder Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
I have four picks for the card below. I’m using the best odds available from any of our top rated betting sites for the picks.
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Israel Adesanya vs Yoel Romero
I’m one of the people who think it’s crazy that Yoel Romero is getting this title shot. He’s coming off of two losses and has just one win in his last four fights. Sure, you can say he could have got the decision win against Whittaker a couple fights back, but let’s not forget that Romero missed weight for that fight. You can also look back to the Jacare Souza fight in December of 2015 where he won a split decision, but 12 media members had Souza winning that fight and only 2 had Romero. His only real wins have come via knockout against the ghosts of Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold.
Overall, Romero has a reputation as a very scary opponent and it’s that reputation that got him this title shot, not actual success in the cage.
I like Adesanya to pick Romero apart on the feet, while maintaining distance to hurt the Cuban from range. Adesanya has proven he can go into deep waters from his win over Gastelum, so I expect him to be able to dig deep if this fight does go into the later rounds, where Romero has proven he can get knockouts even when losing fights.
I like Adesanya to make it three losses in a row for Romero in this one.
Play: Adesanya 1.37 @ Bodog.eu
Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk
I was surprised when I saw Zhang as such a big favourite in this title defense against Joanna. Yes, Zhang looked amazing torching Andrade out of the gate in August of last year, but that fight never really got going, and Andrade has shown in the past that she’s susceptible to getting hit a ton. Zhang just also has the power to finish, which is something a lot of the straw weights don’t have.
Zhang also beat Tecia Torres, Jessica Aguilar and Danielle Taylor decisively. She’s shown the ability to use her striking range against shorter strawweights very successfully.
Joanna is another bigger strawweight, who uses a similar range striking attack, so it will be interesting to see if Zhang can adjust in this fight.
I like Joanna as an underdog purely based on her level of competition over the past several years. She’s faced top level competition for her entire career in the UFC and it was only Rose Namajunas that was able to beat her at strawweight.
This will be an interesting fight that will take place primarily on the feet. I think if Joanna can avoid being knocked out she has a great chance to out volume Zhang and use her experience to win rounds en route to a decision victory.
Play: Jedrzejczyk 2.65 @ SportsInteraction.com
Li Jingliang vs Neil Magny
Simply put, Neil Magny is not very good. He hasn’t fought since November of 2018 when he was knocked out by Santiago Ponzinibbio. Before that he defeated a couple of weak opponents in Craig White and Carlos Condit. I would bet almost anyone in the UFC vs Neil Magny at this time.
It just so happens that Li Jingliang is also a very solid fighter who is on an upward career trajectory. He is coming off a huge knockout victory over Zaleski dos Santos, who was a rising star in the division. I think he will land on Magny and get the knockout.
Magny is likely the better grappler so there is a path to victory for Magny, but I don’t think this fight will last long enough for him to get the fight to the mat.
Play: Jingliang 1.57 @ Bodog.eu
Deron Winn vs Gerald Meerschaert
Deron Winn is Daniel Cormier’s protege, but he had a rough debut in the UFC, losing a split decision to Darren Stewart. With the debut gitters behind him, I expect Winn to come out and handle Meerschaert en route to a decision or knockout win.
As long as Winn can avoid a submission loss he will get this win.
Play: Winn 1.65 @ SportsInteraction.com