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UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero -- start time, how to watch and full fight card

Israel Adesanya, the UFC's brightest new star, defends his middleweight title at UFC 248 against the terrifying Cuban Yoel Romero.

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At their most recent press conference, Adesanya and Romero had a dance-off, if you can believe that.

Josh Hedges/Getty

Israel Adesanya is arguably the biggest rising star in the UFC since Conor McGregor. He's a big deal, and if he keeps up his winning streak he could be an even bigger deal. When he knocked out previous champ Robert Whittaker in definitive fashion at UFC 243 (after the best walk-in in UFC history) you could almost hear the ka-ching of cash registers roll up in UFC President Dana White's eyeballs. Adesanya is special. He's charismatic, quick-witted, has a powerful social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He might be the most futuristic striker in the game. He's Anderson Silva for a brand-new generation

But his next matchup is a test and a half. 

At UFC 248, middleweight champion Adesanya is facing off against Yoel Romero, a dangerous fight for anyone. Romero is a tank disguised in human flesh. En route to winning a razor tight victory decision against him, Whittaker broke multiple bones punching and kicking him. Another previous Ultimate Fighting Championship opponent, Luke Rockhold, is on record stating "that man is made of steel." 

Every second you're in the cage with Romero, you're in danger of being savagely and violently knocked out and since Romero made weight, the fight is for the title. 

But Adesanya versus Romero isn't the only title fight on the UFC 248 fight card. Weili Zhang, the newly crowned UFC women's strawweight, is facing off against legendary fighter Joanna Jędrzejczyk, probably the greatest female UFC strawweight of all time. That contest is a fascinating battle of power versus speed. Zhang is a huge hitter for the division, but Jędrzejczyk is lightning fast, technical and extremely defensively sound. The UFC could have a superstar on their hands with Zhang, the UFC's first Chinese champion in any weight class, but beating Jędrzejczyk for the win is a massive challenge. 

How to watch UFC 248

This year the UFC entered a new partnership with ESPN. That's great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. If you want to watch UFC live in the US especially.

In the US, if you're looking for how to watch UFC 248, you'll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN's site.

  • Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $65
  • Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $85 or purchase the ability to watch UFC PPV for $65 by itself.
  • New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $85. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will autorenew after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of autorenewal.

You can do all of the above at the link below.

MMA fans in the UK looking for how to watch UFC 248, will find it exclusively through BT Sport. There are more options to watch UFC live if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 248 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also stream online on the UFC website or watch UFC live online using its app to stream on your computer or smart TVs. You can even order UFC using your PlayStation 4 to watch the fight or stream using the UFC app on your Xbox One.

Start time

UFC 248 takes place on Saturday, March 7 in the US.

Here are the start times for this UFC fight night by country.

US

  • The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT)
  • The prelims start at 8 p.m. ET
  • The early prelims start at 6:15 p.m. ET

UK

(Note in the UK UFC 248 runs through into Sunday March 8.)

  • The main card starts at 3 a.m. GMT
  • The prelims start at 1 a.m. GMT
  • The early prelims start at 11:15 p.m. GMT

Australia

(Note in Australia UFC 248 starts on Sunday, March 8.)

  • The main card starts at 2 p.m. AEDT
  • The prelims start at 12 p.m. AEDT
  • The early prelims start at 10:15 a.m. AEDT

Who's fighting?

Main card 

  • Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Yoel Romero 
  • Weili Zhang (c) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk 
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose 
  • Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang 
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin

Prelims

  • Sean O'Malley vs. Jose Quinones 
  • Mark Madsen vs. Austin Hubbard
  • Rodolfo Vieira vs. Saparbek Safarov 
  • Gerald Meerschaert vs. Deron Winn

Early prelims

  • Emily Whitmire vs. Polyana Viana 
  • Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Movsar Evolev
  • Danaa Batgerel vs. Guido Cannetti 

Is it worth watching?

Absolutely. This is a bumper card. Adesanya is always worth watching, and the co-main featuring Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will represent the absolute highest quality in women's mixed martial arts.

Outside those two big fights, there are a few interesting matches on the undercard. Sean O'Malley headlines the prelims and is a rising star in every sense of the word. There are highlight reel fighters throughout the PPV as well: Jingliang, Oliveira, Klose... so many great fighters. So many good matchups. This is a good one.

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