Israel Adesanya won’t be facing Paulo Costa next after all.
Adesanya became the undisputed UFC middleweight champion earlier this month. He starched Robert Whittaker, earning a second-round TKO victory in the main event of UFC 243. Costa was in attendance and Adesanya called him an “overly inflated balloon animal” during his post-fight speech. While the stage appeared to be set for these two to clash, it won’t be as soon as many expected.
Dana White Reveals Adesanya vs. Costa Is A No-Go For Now
White spoke to The Schmo and revealed that Costa recently underwent surgery and will be unable to challenge Adesanya for the middleweight gold at this time (via MMAMania.com).
“Costa had surgery on his bicep so he’s out for eight months, but we are working on something else with Israel right now,” White told The Schmo. “He just won the title, to do a Jones super-fight right now doesn’t make sense, there are guys in his own weight division that he can fight.”
Adesanya and Jon Jones have been going back-and-forth ever since “The Last Stylebender” said he was hunting another GOAT in “Bones” after defeating Anderson Silva. It’s clear that White doesn’t want to book that type of bout yet as Adesanya has just started his reign as the 185-pound ruler.
With Costa out of action and the Jones bout shut down, fight fans are now left to wonder who Adesanya will make his first title defense against. While Yoel Romero and Adesanya haven’t fought against each other, “The Soldier of God” has lost two straight. Jared Cannonier is an option as he’s on a three-fight winning streak and stopped Jack Hermansson in enemy territory.
Then there’s the winner of this Saturday night’s (Nov. 2) clash between Kelvin Gastelum and Darren Till. If Gastelum wins, then it opens up the possibility for a rematch to one of 2019’s “Fight of the Year” candidates. A victory for Till gives Adesanya another fresh matchup.
With Paulo Costa out, who do you want to see Israel Adesanya fight next?