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Morning Report: Dana White wants Yoel Romero to win a fight before facing Israel Adesanya

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Coming off of UFC 241 and UFC 243, the middleweight title picture was supposed to be crystal clear. But somehow the waters have once again darkened.

Israel Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 to become the undisputed middleweight champion and his first title defense was supposed to come against Paulo Costa, who had just won a close decision against Yoel Romero at UFC 241. But last week Costa revealed he had to have bicep surgery and would not be able to fight until next Spring. In response, Romero called out Adesanya and, as recently as yesterday, Adesanya voiced his desire to fight Romero in the interim, preferably early in 2020. But Dana White isn’t so sure.

Speaking with Adam’s Apple, White said that he wants Romero to get a win before he gets a fight with Adesanya.

“[Adesanya] wants to fight Yoel Romero,” White said. “He wants Romero. So we’re talking about giving Romero a fight coming up soon here and then (Adesanya) will fight the winner of that fight.”

White’s reticence to throw Romero right into a title shot likely comes from Romero’s recent run. “The Soldier of God” is 1-3 in his last four fights, and missed weight for two title fights. However, White’s plan for Romero to fight before getting a title shot doesn’t exactly work with the timelines, especially if Costa will be ready to go by April like he says. But White addressed Costa’s claims he’d be back that soon, which contradict White’s own statements that Costa would be sidelined for eight months.

“Costa tore his bicep so he had to have surgery,” White said. “He’s claiming that he will be back sooner than he will be. That’s not what the doctor is telling me, so that’s not true.”

Even so, it’s hard to imagine Romero getting a win and turning around to face Adesanya at the champion’s preferred time so something has got to give here.


TOP STORIES

Be better, people. UFC 244 doctor faces threats, online harassment after controversial main event call.

Fight. Israel Adesanya targets Yoel Romero next, wants to fight ‘the guy everyone thinks can beat me’.

Stepping up. Jairzinho Rozenstruik replaces Walt Harris, faces Alistair Overeem in UFC on ESPN 7 main event.

Allegations. Rep: Conor McGregor ‘vehemently’ denies ‘any allegation of sexual misconduct or any wrongdoing’.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 244 Coffee Talk.

UFC 244 Fight Motion.

Till and Masvidal backstage at UFC 244.

MixedMollyWhoppery back on Masvidal.

Kevin Lee, Johnny Walker, and Corey Anderson on TMZ. (Also, just for reference, Corey Anderson’s video has 3K views, Johnny Walkers has 230K)


LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Discussing all the fallout from UFC 244.

Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC 244 and previewing this week’s fights.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

This is absurdist theater.

Love how this is now almost as common as the begging for $50K.

No one should.

Jon.

Precamp, huh? Woodley must be getting ready to get back at it.

Thomas Gifford has been let go.

ESPN and DAZN are friends now.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jairzinho Rozenstruik (9-0) vs. Alistair Overeem (45-17); UFC on ESPN 7, Dec. 7.

Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1); UFC 245, Dec. 14.

Said Nurmagomedov (13-1) vs. Raoni Barcelos (14-1); UFC Busan, Dec. 21.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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