I'm not exactly certain how you can argue that the fight wasn't fought at Romero's pace.See, it's analyses of fights like this that I've never understood. Let's take the fight completely out of the individuals involved and just take this argument at face value. Do championship caliber fighters with a reach advantage simply wade in against sluggers with a lot of power? Maybe they do occasionally at lightweight and below, but at Middleweight and up, it usually doesn't go well. Long, rangy fighters typically aren't big on getting hit and if they're also going up against an Olympic level wrestler, it's probable they don't want to get too far on the inside.
So now let's talk about the two guys in particular. Adesanya's style is typically about making his opponents miss and then making them pay with spectacular strikes. Against a guy with the quickness and power of Romero, this is a tough assignment because you don't want to screw up and get taken down even if you're confident you can avoid the strikes. Add in the fact that up until about 6 weeks out, it wasn't clear whether Adesanya's opponent would be Costa or Romero. Both guys are powerful, but that's about where the stylistic comparison ends. If you watched Romero's fights with Costa and Whittaker, even though they were exciting, he hung back a lot himself and let his opponents lead because he sets up his power off a counter and his speed is starting to diminish. In the fight with Adesanya, he was clearly hanging back and Adesanya was too, though Romero barely let any strikes go and Adesanya mostly missed. To say Israel didn't walk into his range is like saying Yoel didn't drop his hands, kneel down on the mat and pray to Jesus for a victory.
When I say Romero did nothing in that fight, I mean he accomplished nothing. Adesanya dictated the pace, the tempo and the distance. From an outside perspective, the fight sucked, but both guys strategy and attributes are to blame.
The only thing that Israel outstruck Romero with was legkicks. That didn't do anything. And made up over 50% of his landed shots.
25 of the 48 strikes Israel landed were leg kicks. Removing leg kicks from Israel's totals means his hit %, which was lower than Romero's, with 8 total strikes more, leaves Israel with 23/103 strikes landed, for 22% of shots thrown landed.
Barely better than 1 of 5.
All he did was miss. With no landed damage.
I'm surprised he didn't Naruto run out of there. Probably didn't have any composure though.