UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya doesn’t think a potential win over Yoel Romero will do anything for his legacy.
Adesanya is set for his first title defense when he meets Romero in the main event of UFC 248 on March 7. It’s a fight that he specifically asked for given how the Cuban is seen as the boogeyman of the division.
UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal is this weekend!
Three title fights are scheduled for UFC Fight Island on Saturday, July 11. Order the PPV now on ESPN+.
But despite Romero’s credentials and wins over a number of top fighters such as Lyoto Machida, Ronaldo Souza, Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold, Adesanya doesn’t see a victory over him as legacy-defining in any way.
“This fight for my legacy? Let me think. I don’t know if it does anything specific for my legacy,” Adesanya told Submission Radio. “My fight with Anderson Silva, that was a crucial fight for my legacy because it was a quote on quote passing of the torch moment because old school and the new school. And my history with Anderson as the guy I looked up to to get to this game.
“This fight with Romero I don’t really think it does anything specifically for my legacy apart from being another body of mine, another tough guy on the line that we have to take out.”
One more reason Adesanya wanted Romero was to shut the casuals up who believe he will face his match when they fight.
But like he did against Robert Whittaker at UFC 243, “The Last Stylebender” plans on making it look easy when he faces Romero.
“I’ve had some tough tests,” he added. “Right now, I still think Kelvin [Gastelum] has been my toughest fight so far, physically. Mentally, Anderson was my toughest fight so far. We’ll see. I don’t think he’s [Romero] going to be [tough]. The way the match is shaping up, I don’t really think he’s going to be.
“I think he’s going to be not easy, but I’ll make it look easy. I said that about the Robert fight because everyone was counting me out. … I said I’ll make it look easy. What did I do? I made it look easy. I just feel that way for this one as well. Yoel is a guy that’s fought someone who stays in front of him. He likes a punching bag and that I am not.”