The UFC have announced that Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against Paulo Costa on September 19th at UFC 253.
Adesanya is undefeated in his professional MMA career, with a 19-0 record including wins over Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Kelvin Gastelum. Costa is also undefeated and comes in with a record of 13-0 including wins over Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall and Jonny Hendricks.
In one of the most exciting bouts in recent middleweight history, these two elite level strikes will clash to see who the undisputed king of the 185lbs weight class really is.
This feud has got more and more heated in recent times too. Adesanya and Costa were supposed to clash immediately after Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker to become the undisputed champion back in October 2019. The Brazilian suffered a torn rotator cuff injury though and was unable to compete. That led to Adesanya’s underwhelming clash with Yoel Romero, who Costa had just beaten via decision.
Both men have accused the other of ducking them, and the jibes have continued online with several tweets.
But now that the fight is signed, sealed and official we can begin to look forward to fireworks in the cage rather than outside it between these two undefeated behemoths.
While Adesanya is the more technical striker, Costa is absolutely no joke. He has ridiculous knockout power, excellent technique and a granite chin. He is yet to fight a five-round fight in the UFC but so far his conditioning has never been a problem, even when he had a three-round war with Yoel Romero.
Adesanya will have a speed advantage and his footwork is excellent. He showed against Kelvin Gastelum that he has a chin too, but he’s never taken a punch from someone with the power of Costa.
It will surely prove to be an exciting match-up and I’d be shocked if it went the same way as the Izzy-Yoel match where both fighters just didn’t strike.