Romero has had issues with making weight in the past and Adesanya has issued an ultimatum to the future title challenger.
“If he misses weight, all I know is I want 80 percent of his (expletive) check,” Adesanya said at the UFC 248 pre-fight press conference (via John Morgan of MMA Junkie). “That’s the only thing that pisses me off, because then it wouldn’t be classified with a red ruby on my belt if he doesn’t make weight, and that would really piss me off, and I would probably give the shot to someone else who deserves it. I might ask for the replacement. If he doesn’t make weight, I might say, ‘Jared Cannonier, step in,’ or Darren Till – if he can make it in – step in, because, yeah, (expletive) all that.”
Adesanya mentioned Jared Cannonier and Darren Till as potential replacements, but Cannonier is getting surgery and Till has been having visa issues, so the champion may need another option for a backup opponent.
The champion believes some on Romero’s past issues have been disrespectful to the sport of professional MMA.
“He’s a guy that’s disrespected the sport,” Adesanya said. “When he fought, his last win was at 221. … Dude, this is chess, not checkers. … He had two hours to try and make weight. He decided not to make the weight, and you know why? He decided, ‘I’ll take the fine … but I won’t dehydrate myself to the point where I won’t be able to fight, and that way he gets to go out there, knock out Rockhold, then still gets to go and fight for the (expletive) belt. For me, he better make weight because I’m coming ready, man. Seriously.”
UFC 248 takes place on Saturday, March 7 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.