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UFC Title Bout: Adesanya Retains Title, Azagba Marches on in Heavyweight Boxing

By Segun Precious

Israel Adesanya defeated Yeol Romero in Australia Sunday morning to retain his middleweight UFC world title.

The Nigerian-born Kiwi won on a unanimous decision in an anti-climatic encounter where spectators were left disappointed.

At the UFC 248 post-fight news conference after Saturday’s event, UFC President Dana White was asked his thoughts on the main event. While there were two combatants in the middleweight title fight, the UFC boss blamed one in particular for the lackluster fight.

Here’s a hint: It wasn’t the champion.

“I do (think it was Romero’s fault),” White said. “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.”

The win makes it 19 out of 19 for Israel Adesanya.

In heavyweight Boxing, Efe Azagba produced a methodical knockout Saturday night, 2½ months after what the Nigerian heavyweight considers a “terrible” performance in his previous fight.

The 6-feet-6, 242¼-pound prospect knocked down huge underdog Razvan Cojanu twice before their scheduled 10-rounder was stopped at 2:46 of the ninth round on the Adam Kownacki-Robert Helenius undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Referee Ron Lipton ended their bout as soon as the 6-feet-7½, 255½-pound Cojanu took a knee after absorbing another thudding right hand from Ajagba (13-0, 11 KOs).

Romania’s Cojanu (17-7, 9 KOs) was knocked out for the fourth time in nine years as a pro. Each of his first three knockout defeats – to Donovan Dennis, Luis Ortiz and Daniel Dubois – occurred in the second- round.

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