The main event of UFC 248 will see UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defend his title against Yoel Romero, and as his team continues to see success, Adesanya’s head coach Eugene Bareman recently gave his thoughts on their upcoming opponent.
In 2019, Bareman led his fight team at City Kickboxing to a 11-2 record and saw two champions crowned when Adesanya earned a middleweight title and featherweight Alexander Volkanovski claimed the title from Max Holloway in December. While the City Kickboxing team has enjoyed quite the run of success of late, there has been criticism to Adesanya’s title defense coming against Romero who is coming off two losses himself.
During an interview with The Luke Thomas Show, Bareman responded to the criticism of the Adesanya-Romero fight booking and broke down what Romero brings to the Octagon against the champion.
🔊"There's no one else like him, there's no one else in the middleweight division with this wrestling credentials." – Eugene Bareman explains some of the unique challenges Yoel Romero presents, as well as some of the holes in his game #TLTS👊#UFC248@lthomasnews 🎧 pic.twitter.com/2DXuT1aSeI
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) February 25, 2020
“He’s the most unique. There’s no one else like him, there’s no else in the middleweight division with his wrestling credentials. There’s no one else with his sort of athleticism, and there’s no one else with his freakish sort-of ability to pick the right shot at the right time. Israel has had nearly 100 kickboxing fights and a lot of those guys look like Paulo Costa, but he hasn’t faced anyone that looks like Yoel Romero and moves like him and uses the awkward kind of stances and the awkward shots that Romero uses, so for us, that’s been one of the challenges for sure.”
Although he is well-known and respected for his wrestling background, Bareman also provided some criticism of Romero’s wrestling and pointed out a few weaknesses he sees in Adesanya’s upcoming opponent.
“Obviously you’re seeing the same things we are. I’d be a lot more worried if his wrestling credentials in the middleweight division came from a more folk-style background. Him coming from the freestyle background, you can see where there is a little bit of a hole in his game. There’s definitely holes in his ground game and some of his wrestling but there are big holes to fill there.”
There has been plenty of questions and criticisms of the UFC giving Romero a title shot at UFC 248, but for Adesanya and his coach Eugene Bareman, they have acknowledge the threat that Romero will bring in the title fight.