UFC 248 predictions -- Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero: Expert picks, fight card, odds, date, prelims
Check out who the experts at CBS Sports are taking when Adesanya and Romero meet in Las Vegas
UFC 248 is set to commence from Las Vegas on Saturday night with a pair of title fights on the marquee. Middleweight champ Israel Adesanya looks to make his first defense of the 185-pound crown against Yoel Romero while women's strawweight champ Weili Zhang locks up against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event. This will be UFC's third PPV event emanating from Sin City in the last four months and the previous two have been rousing successes.
The main event features a pair of the most feared strikers at 185 pounds today. Adesanya enters the bout a perfect 7-0 in his brief UFC career with three TKOs. He has been able to use his pinpoint accuracy to carry him all the way to the title, which he used in stopping Robert Whittaker last October in Australia. Romero, meanwhile, made his name on the back of his Olympic wrestling background. However, he's leaned on his striking in recent years, getting into all out wars with Whittaker and Paulo Costa. Though he's just 1-3 in his last four, an argument can be made that he's won all four fights.
Get your expert picks for UFC 248 from our podcast -- State of Combat with Brian Campbell -- where we look at everything on the main card and get some in-depth analysis on the betting lines and angles from Brandon Wise.
Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride. Let's take a closer look at the rest of the card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC 248 fight card
- Israel Adesanya (c) -270 vs. Yoel Romero +220 -- Middleweight title
- Weili Zhang (c) -165 vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk +140 -- Women's strawweight title
- Beneil Dariush -165 vs. Drakkar Klose +140 -- Lightweights
- Li Jingliang -175 vs. Neil Magny +150 -- Welterweights
- Alex Oliveira -150 vs. Max Griffin +125 -- Welterweights
- Sean O'Malley -360 vs. Jose Quinonez +260 -- Bantamweights
- Mark Madsen -220 vs. Austin Hubbard +180 -- Lightweights
- Rodolfo Vieira -800 vs. Saparbek Safarov +550 -- Middleweights
- Deron Winn -150 vs. Gerald Meerschaert +125 -- Middleweights
- Polyana Viana -125 vs. Emily Whitmire -105 -- Women's strawweights
- Jamall Emmers -160 vs. Giga Chikadze +135 -- Featherweights
- Danaa Batgerel -150 vs. Guido Cannetti +125 -- Bantamweights
With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card with latest odds from MGM. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (editor).
UFC 248 picks
|Adesanya (c) vs. Romero|
|Zhang (c) vs. Jedrzejczyk||Jedrzejczyk|| Zhang|| Jedrzejczyk|| Jedrzejczyk|| Jedrzejczyk|
|Dariush vs. Klose||Dariush||Klose||Dariush||Dariush||Klose|
|Jingliang vs. Magny||Magny||Magny||Magny||Magny||Jingliang|
|Oliveira vs. Griffin||Griffin||Oliveira||Oliveira||Griffin||Griffin|
Campbell on why Adesanya will win: For everything we (rightfully) say about the danger that the 42-year-old Romero brings, he has lost three of his last four. Given his recent penchant for abandoning the wrestling pedigree he built his name on, this becomes a striking battle the quicker and more technical Adesanya can win. The only questions surround how much damage he will need to absorb from Romero to get there and whether Adesanya can be precise enough to finish him. Regardless of how Adesanya wins, expect violence and entertainment.
Coca on why Romero will win: Power, power, power, power! Romero is the most powerful fighter Adesanya has ever faced. He's also likely the best wrestler that Adesanya has ever faced. Kelvin Gastelum was unsuccessful trying to takedown Adesanya, but Romero is a different beast. If Romero uses his takedowns or connects with a big shot, I'm not sure Adesanya will be able to withstand that.
Brookhouse on why Zhang will win: As far as championship experience, Jedrzejczyk has a clear edge. With that comes much more experience in five round fights, including fighting a full five rounds an impressive seven times. Zhang, on the other hand, has only gone to decision three times in her career, all in three round fights. That said, in the two UFC fights where Zhang went to decision, she won the third round, so it doesn't appear she fades badly as the fight wears on. Zhang's explosiveness and finishing power just gives her a bit of an edge and if Rose Namajunas can get to Jedrzejczyk with punches, Zhang will be able to as well. Zhang via TKO3
Crosby on why Jedrzejczyk will win: I, like many others, believe in the power of the champion, which was on clear in her dismantling of Jessica Andrade to win the title. But, what I may favor even more in this fight is the championship experience Joanna brings to the table. I think she'll come into this one well prepared and with a good enough gameplan to keep her away from eating the kill shot at any point. I envision Joanna regaining the women's strawweight championship when this one goes to the scorecards after what should be an exciting showdown over five rounds. While I am predicting the Joanna win, I don't think this will be the last time we see these two square off in the Octagon. Jedrzejczyk via UD
Wise on why Dariush will win: Dariush and Klose are slowly starting to make their way toward the top 15 at lightweight, the deepest division in UFC. The two were originally scheduled to fight last summer but will meet this week with plenty at stake. Dariush is coming off a pair of submission victories in 2019 while Klose has three straight decisions dating back to 2018. Dariush brings the much more exciting style to the Octagon while Klose is more known for a "wall and brawl" style, making fights as ugly as possible. It will be tough for either man to get a finish in this bout, but trusting the veteran Dariush feels like the safe play here given his style and propensity for grinding out tough fights like this one. Dariush via UD
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.
SportsLine UFC expert Kyle Marley just locked in his top UFC 249 picks and predictions.
With Khabib Nurmagomedov forced to pull out, Ferguson will now be taking on the surging Gaethje
The UFC has already canceled three events as the coronavirus pandemic affects the entire world
The headlining fight will be contested for the interim lightweight championship
The home intruder fought with Smith for over five minutes until police arrived
The UFC president has a crazy plan to move ahead with fights during the coronavirus pandemic