Yoel Romero believes Israel Adesanya was “scared” against Sean Strickland

By Cole Shelton - October 3, 2023

Yoel Romero thinks Israel Adesanya fought scared against Sean Strickland.

Israel Adesanya, Yoel Romero

Adesanya was coming off a KO win over Alex Pereira back in April, and the fight against Strickland was one he didn’t want in the first place. Instead, ‘The Last Stylebender’ wanted to face Dricus Du Plessis, but an injury kept him from getting the bout.

Although Israel Adesnya was a fight removed from getting knocked out by Alex Pereira last November, Yoel Romero thinks that still impacted the champ, especially after getting rocked in the first round. Even in the rematch, Adesanya absorbed some damaging blows and Romero thinks the damage caught up to Adesanya against Strickland.

“What I think is right now, when you have a fight and you take the damage, like Alex make against Izzy, now Izzy has a little problem, not too much,” Romero said on the Overdogs Podcast (h/t MMAJunkie). “That’s what I’m thinking. Now he’s scared a little bit because he needs more time to recover. When you take a lot of punches in one fight, you lose – no excuses. Maybe if he had more time to recover, the fight would be different. Believe me … when he lost to Alex, he took a lot of punches.”

RELATED: Dricus Du Plessis responds to criticism from Dana White.

Israel Adesanya has been one of the most active champions in the UFC, so perhaps Yoel Romero is onto something. Adesanya would often get right back into a training camp, and Romero believes he never fully let his body heal, which is why he fought scared against Sean Strickland.

Since the loss, Israel Adesanya has been campaigning for a rematch with Sean Strickland. Yet, Romero doesn’t think that should happen. Instead, he believes Strickland should face Dricus Du Plessis next, then Jared Cannonier, and if he wins both of those, then the rematch with Adesanya.

“If he’s (Du Plessis) good, that’s the guy he needs to fight,” Romero said of Strickland’s next opponent. “After this, ‘Killa Gorilla’ (Cannonier), and after this, the rematch with Izzy.”


Israel Adesanya UFC Yoel Romero