UFC 248 odds, fight card: Breaking down every fight from the PPV opener to the main event
Get a complete breakdown of the card from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
UFC is making its return to Las Vegas for the third pay-per-view event in four months as UFC 248 descends upon Sin City. A pair of title fights headline the event on Saturday night as middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defends his 185-pound title against Yoel Romero and women's strawweight champion Weili Zhang battles former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. These bouts will mark the first title defenses for each champion.
Adesanya may be taking a huge risk in this bout by facing an opponent who is just 1-3 in his last four fights, but has a reputation as an all-out brawler who went 10 hard rounds against former champ Robert Whittaker, but came up just short in both fights.
Familiar names and UFC veterans litter the rest of the main card from Las Vegas. Let's look at the scheduled action on the main card.
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(Odds via William Hill Sportsbook)
Alex Oliveira -150 vs. Max Griffin +125, welterweights: This could well be a fight for the UFC careers of both men. Oliveira (19-8-1) started his UFC career 9-3 but is now on a three-fight losing skid. Those losses have come against solid competition, but a four-fight losing skid is many times a recipe to find yourself on the regional circuit. Oliveira has 12 knockout wins in his pro career but has been slightly vulnerable to submissions, tapping out in half of his losses. Griffin (15-7) is in a similar position, with a 1-3 record in his four most recent fights. Unlike Oliveira, Griffin did not have a sustained run of success to kick off his Octagon career. He has a 3-5 record in the UFC and has not won consecutive bouts in the promotion.
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Li Jingliang -175 vs. Neil Magny +150, welterweights: Like Zhang in the main event, Jingliang (17-5) has become one of China's most prominent mixed martial artists. After a shaky 2-2 start to his UFC career, Jingliang has gone on a 7-1 run, with the lone loss coming in a fight of the night against Jake Matthews. Magny (21-7) doesn't have as sparkling of a recent record, but has been in against undeniably tougher opposition. Magny is 2-2 since 2017, but has not fought since a November 2018 knockout loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio. Magny was provisionally suspended by USADA after a failed drug test that sidelined him through 2019, though USADA ultimately cleared him after finding a tainted supplement.
Beneil Dariush -165 vs. Drakkar Klose +140, lightweights: Dariush (17-4-1) opened his UFC career with a 6-1 Octagon run between 2014 and 2015. A 2-3-1 run in his next six fights slowed some of the hype that had been building behind the Iranian-American, but he has rebounded with three straight wins heading into UFC 248. Dariush has been stopped in all four of his losses, three times by knockout. Klose (11-1-1) is not known as a knockout artist, having scored four in his career with his other nine pro fights going to the judges' scorecards. He is on a three-fight winning streak since his lone career loss, a UFC 218 decision loss to David Teymur.
Weili Zhang (c) -165 vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk +140, women's strawweight championship: Zhang (20-1) shocked the world by winning the strawweight title from Jessica Andrade in August 2019. The shock wasn't based on simply winning, though she was a +170 underdog, but came from the knockout win coming just 42 seconds after the fight started. Zhang lost her first pro fight and has rattled off 20 consecutive wins since. After beating Danielle Taylor and Jessica Aguilar in her first two UFC bouts, Zhang knocked off Tecia Torres by decision to punch her ticket to a fight with Andrade. With the title-clinching victory over Andrade, Zhang became the UFC's first Chinese champion, a notable media moment in the country.
Jedrzejczyk (16-3) won a shot at the title in her second UFC fight, winning a split decision win over Claudia Gadelha in December 2014. She would then score a March 2015 knockout of Carla Esparza to win the title, which she successfully defended five times while making a name for herself as a dominant championship until running into Rose Namajunas in November 2017. Namajunas scored a stunning first-round knockout to win the title and followed that up with a convincing unanimous decision win in their immediate rematch. Jedrzejczyk would again taste defeat in an attempt to move to flyweight, where she was outpointed by champ Valentina Shevchenko. A win over Michelle Waterson locked her in to challenge once again for the belt she helped make more visible during her own run as champion.
Israel Adesanya (c) -270 vs. Yoel Romero +220, middleweight championship: Adesanya (18-0) moved from a successful kickboxing career to MMA full time in 2017 and has proven himself a near-perfect example of the modern MMA striker. His ability to control spacing and pace through the use of feints and a variety of strikes helped him run through opponents once he moved to the UFC's Octagon. Four wins in 2018 were followed by three in 2019 that put him in contention for Fighter of the Year with a decision over the legendary Anderson Silva, a Fight of the Year war with Kelvin Gastelum for the interim title and a brilliant unanimous title-winning knockout of Robert Whittaker. It made up one of the most impressive years in UFC history.
Romero (13-4), a former Olympian, has long been established at middleweight, but does not fight at anywhere near Adesanya's frequency, not fighting three times in one year since 2014. After a 12-1 start to his career, Romero was placed into an interim title fight with Robert Whittaker, losing by unanimous decision. His next fight was again for the interim middleweight belt, and he scored a knockout win over Luke Rockhold, but did not win the title as he had missed weight by 2.7 pounds. Romero again got a chance at a title, this time the undisputed middleweight belt, in a rematch with Whittaker. Again, Romero missed weight, leaving him ineligible to become champion, though he ultimately lost by split decision. In his most recent fight, Romero lost to Paulo Costa in a Fight of the Year contender. Romero will enter the fight with Adesanya as just the second man in UFC history to receive a title shot despite being on a two-fight losing skid.
Who will win Adesanya vs. Romero, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on the main card, all from the accomplished expert who has been profitable for five straight years, and find out.
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