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Rough night for ex-wrestlers: Romero, Winn lose at UFC 248

Two former champion wrestlers -- Yoel Romero, and Deron Winn -- both suffered defeats at UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.

Romero loses decision to Adesanya in middleweight main event

In the main event at UFC 248, Israel Adesanya held onto his middleweight (185-pound) title with a unanimous decision over six-time World freestyle wrestling champ Yoel Romero. Judges scored the bout 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 for Adesanya, who won the crown in October.

Here's how Sherdog.com opened its account of the title fight, which used the phrase "action-starved" in its headline:

Yoel Romero (Photo/Steve Marcusap)
"Israel Adesanya might not have won himself any new fans at UFC 248, but he walked out of the Octagon with his undefeated record and championship reign intact.

"'The Last Stylebender' utilized a risk-adverse approach to capture a unanimous decision triumph over Yoel Romero ...

"Early on, Adesanya seemed mesmerized by the Romero mystique. The Nigerian-born Kiwi was hesitant to engage, and Romero authored the bout's most significant moments with brief explosive attacks in the early stanzas. As time wore on, however, Adesanya began to pick his opponent apart, with stinging leg kicks in particular taking their toll on "The Soldier of God."

"Many spectators at T-Mobile Arena weren't happy with the UFC 248 main event between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Yoel Romero," MMA Junkie reported. "UFC president Dana White was no different."

"I do (think it was Romero's fault)," White in a post-event press conference. "He literally went out and stood in the middle of the ... when the bell rang in the first round, just stood there with his hands up. You know what I mean? You're going in and facing the world champion. This is your last shot at a championship. You shouldn't even be here getting this title fight. It should be Paulo Costa. If he didn't get hurt, you don't even get this opportunity. You go in, and you do everything you can to win that fight. He literally did none of that."

With the win, Adesanya retains the UFC middleweight title, and improves his pro MMA record to 19-0 overall, and 8-0 in UFC action ... while the 42-year-old Romero -- who earned a silver medal in men's freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics -- now drops to 13-5 overall, and 9-4 in UFC.

Winn choked out in third round vs. Meerschaert

In another middleweight matchup earlier in the evening, two-time national junior college wrestling champ Deron Winn fell victim to a rear-naked choke at the hands of Gerald Meerschaert at 2:13 of the third and final round.

"It wasn't an easy fight for Meerschaert as he was rocked early in the first round, but he eventually returned the favor and starting landing heavy punches," according to Sherdog.com. This eventually forced an injured Winn to the ground where the fight ended."

In its coverage of the fight, Cageside Press wrote, "Meerschaert struck first in the second round, landing a left hook, his power hand. Winn's range was not quite there in the second round, with Meerschaert landing with more success. Another combination landed for Meerschaert, to which Winn responded with a takedown attempt. Meerschaert went to a knee then avoided a high kick. Winn ate a few jabs from Meerschaert then missed on some overhands. Meerschaert started to dig to the body and Winn felt it. He got on his horse and quickly tried moving out of danger. Meerschaert won the second round by a wide margin.

"The third round started with striking exchanges with both men connecting well. Winn then landed a pair of huge overhands, but couldn't pursue a finish. Meerschaert recovered, then landed a combination that wobbled Winn. Meerschaert continued to land as Winn stumbled, then fell to his knees. Meerschaert went for a guillotine, then took the back of the wrestler. He went for a rear-naked choke, got the arm over the face of Winn and got the tap."

With the win, the 32-year-old Meerschaert is now 31-12 overall -- and 6-4 in UFC -- in a pro career going back to January 2007. Deron Winn, 30, twice a National Junior College Athletic Association heavyweight champ at St. Louis Community College, Meramec who launched his pro MMA career three years ago, is now 6-2 overall, and 1-2 in UFC fights.

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