Jon Jones has praised Yoel Romero for putting up a gallant stand against Israel Adesanya in their middleweight title showdown.
Despite back-to-back losses, the Cuban middleweight earned the chance to challenge Adesanya for the 185-pound title at UFC 248 in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Anticipated as a barnburner affair, the middleweight pair fought to an underwhelming headlining bout, much to the dismay of MMA fans, who earlier witnessed a fight for the ages in the co-main event.
While many fans were quick to criticize Adesanya and Romero for a ‘boring main event,’ calling it ‘the worst title fight in UFC history,’ it took the pound-for-pound king ten days to weigh in on Adesanya’s first title-defence.
The two UFC champions are being linked to a potential super fight in 2021 as they have been on a heated war of words since early 2019, after the Kiwi-Nigerian said he is going to hunt another ‘MMA GOAT.’
‘Proud Of You’
Sharing his thoughts about the title fight, Jones surprisingly did not take aim at Adesanya but has some kind words for the challenger.
Jones, though, said it could have gone either way if Romero utilized both his wrestling and grappling game.
“Bro you are a few years into stand up fighting and you stood with him for 25 minute straight. I thought you represented yourself and your team very well,”Jones commented.
“Would’ve loved to seen you be more versatile, using your wrestling and grappling, that would’ve made the difference.”
“You fought him where he was best at and was so close. Proud of you.”
Run and Run
The 42-year old fighter has since blasted Adesanya for his performance, which he compared to a track and field runner.
“It’s impossible to fight against a ghost,” Romero said after the fight (er DAZN News).
“I don’t know how anyone expected me to fight against a ghost. I’m going to start training for track or cross country. Because obviously, he is a cross country and track star, so I need to catch up to his sport.”
“I came to have a war and put on a show for the fans, and that didn’t happen, so that’s how I feel right now. … I came here to fight, not to run.”
Romero added that the champ’s performance was a disrespect to MMA fans.
“That’s what he did — run and run. I expected a worthy opponent, but I had a runner in front of me.”
“He kicked me. I kicked him. I made a takedown. He didn’t even attempt one — not even one. I made a few. He didn’t hit me in the face. I hit him in the face.”
“I think it’s a huge disrespect, what Israel did (Saturday) to the fans and the UFC. People pay for the pay-per-view.”
“They work really hard to pay for the pay-per-view to see how two warriors give it their all, and Adesanya didn’t respect that today.”
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Jon Jones and YouTube/ UFC)