Now for the biggest show of your MMA weekend.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back in action at its home venue, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the promotion’s third pay-per-view event of 2020, UFC 247.
Action begins Saturday evening at 7 p.m. EST, 4 p.m. PST with two early prelims streaming on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+, before moving over to ESPN at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST, immediately following its coverage of college basketball between the University of North Carolina and No. 12 Duke University at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 6 p.m. EST, 3:15 p.m. PST.
After, the action shifts to ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. PST with the five-fight main card.
The scheduled undercard fight between Emily Whitmire and Polyana Viana in the Strawweight division was postponed on Saturday after Whitmire was admitted to the emergency room after failing to make the 115-lb. maximum at Friday’s weigh-in.
To preorder UFC 248 from ESPN+, access www.espnplus.com/ppv today.
For future reference, preorders for UFC pay-per-views on ESPN+ are taken beginning the Monday morning of fight week.
If you wish to view UFC 248 at a bar or restaurant, simply access www.bars.ufc.com and enter your ZIP code.
From there, you’ll see a list of bars/restaurants in your area, both confirmed and otherwise, to be showing the event.
For the unconfirmed locations, simply call ahead.
Armchair Public Service Announcement: Daylight Savings Time begins Saturday (early Sunday) at 2 a.m. local time. Set your clocks forward an hour before bed Saturday night.
Now, onto the fights themselves.
UFC 248 is highlighted by a championship doubleheader to close the show on Saturday night.
In the co-main event of the evening on Saturday, the UFC’s Strawweight championship belt is at stake as incumbent champion Zhang Weili (19-1) fights No. 6 contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3).
Your main event sees the UFC Middleweight title up for grabs.
Champion Israel Adesanya (18-0) battles No. 3 contender Yoel Romero (13-3) in the headliner.
Both title fights will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
Co-Main Event: UFC Strawweight Championship: Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk:
Heading into the Mar. 7 Strawweight title fight, challenger Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the taller combatant at 5-foot-6, two inches taller than champion Zhang Weili 5-foot-4 frame.
How they got here:
Zhang has posted a record of 5-0 in her last five contests, most recently stopping Jessica Andrade last Aug. 31 in UFC on ESPN+ 15’s main event in Shenzhen, China by first-round knockout.
In the other corner, challenger Joanna Jedrzejczyk has posted a record of 2-3 in her last five fights.
On Mar. 7, she looks to build off of her victory against Michelle Waterson by unanimous decision in UFC on ESPN+ 19’s main event on Oct. 12.
The Tale of the Tape:
UFC.com shows that Jedrzejczyk owns a 2.5-inch reach advantage (65.5 inches to 63 inches) over Zhang Weili, with Zhang holding a one-inch leg reach advantage (36 inches to 35 inches) over Jedrzejczyk heading into this fight.
Prediction: Zhang Weili by unanimous decision.
Main Event: UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero:
Heading into the Mar. 7 main event, champion Israel Adesanya is the taller combatant, standing 6-foot-4, four inches taller than Yoel Romero at six feet even.
How they got here:
Israel Adesanya has yet to lose in his professional MMA career.
Most recently, he stopped Robert Whittaker (second-round knockout- left hook) during the UFC 243 main attraction last October inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia on pay-per-view.
In the other corner, challenger Yoel Romero has posted a 2-3 record in his last five UFC appearances, losing last time out against Paulo Costa last August in the UFC 241 pay-per-view from Anaheim’s Honda Center.
The Tale of the Tape:
UFC.com shows that Adesanya owns a 6.5-inch reach advantage (80 inches to 73.5 inches) and a 2.5-inch leg reach advantage (44.5 inches to 42 inches) over Romero.
Prediction: Israel Adesanya by first-round knockout.
Three other fights make up Saturday’s main card:
Beneil Dairush (16-4-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (10-1-1) [Lightweight]
Neil Magny (21-8) vs. Li Jinglang (16-5) [Welterweight]
Alex Oliveira (19-7-1, two no-contests) vs. Max Griffin (15-6) [Welterweight]
UFC 248 at a Glance: [Saturday]
Early Prelims: 7 p.m. EST, 4 p.m. PST, UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+
TV Prelims: 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST, ESPN
Main Card: 10 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. PST, ESPN+ pay-per-view
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