UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will take on top contender Paulo Costa on September 19 in a highly anticipated match-up. It will be the featured fight of UFC 253.
The location of the fight hasn’t been revealed and it was first reported by Combate and confirmed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
According to MMAJunkie, the fight will take place at Yas Islands in Abu Dhabi.
Paulo Costa was supposed to fight Israel Adesanya in March earlier this year. But the Brazilian had to undergo an arm surgery that forced him to remain out of the Octagon for almost eight months.
This resulted in UFC matching up Israel Adesanya with Yoel Romero at UFC 248 despite the Cuban being coming off of two back to back loses. Paulo Costa is coming off of a decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 241 last August.
Paulo Costa: Israel Adesanya is a fake champion
In an interview with BJPenn last September, Costa has expressed his dislike for Israel Adesanya and stated that the Kiwi was a fake champion. The bad blood between both the fighters has been brewing for quite some time now.
“I can beat both. I think Adesanya is a fake champion. He hasn’t fought anyone tough, he is a skinny clown. I have a personal problem with him,” Paulo Costa said in September before Adesanya fought Whittaker.
“If he beats Whittaker, which I don’t think, I’m going to kill him. He doesn’t stand a chance against me. As for Whittaker, he is good, tough guy. He is not as strong as Yoel, so I can take him. He is like Yoel with less power, so I can beat both of them. I really want Adesanya, though.”
Israel Adesanya confident about beating Paulo Costa
Israel Adesanya is extremely confident of beating Costa if they fought. Last year, he appeared on the Ariel Helwani Show, where he revealed that a fight with the Brazilian will turn out to be the exact same way as Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo.
“You know one thing that fight reminded me of? McGregor-Aldo,” Adesanya said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“It will happen. I know how to push his buttons. He’s such a meathead, I can push his buttons and make him do what I want him to do. Counter him,” Adesanya said.
“People were always used to my linear attacks, they didn’t know about my lateral attacks. My hooks. They thought when I started countering Rob, they forget that’s what I first started doing when I started kickboxing. I was a counter striker. I went back to my roots, and I was just hitting from all angles. Like literally hitting him from all angles. Even when I was in ‘The Matrix’, caught him with an uppercut. So Paula is a guy, he’s a really aggressive bull, but I can be a matador.” Adesanya concluded. (H/T – BJPenn.com)
Confirmed UFC 253 fights
- Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa – for the middleweight title
- Mackenzie Dern vs. Randa Markos
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane
Who do you guys think wins this fight?