Paulo Costa’s manager, Wallid Ismail is claiming that Israel Adesanya has turned down two bouts.
Adesanya vs. Costa seems to be inevitable. Costa was supposed to receive a UFC middleweight title opportunity back in March but was still recovering from surgery despite insisting he was ready. Adesanya ended up defeating Yoel Romero via unanimous decision to successfully retain his 185-pound gold.
Paulo Costa’s Manager Says Israel Adesanya Turned Down Two Fights
Ismail spoke to BJPenn.com and claimed that despite denials from Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman, “The Last Stylebender” turned down bouts for UFC 251 and UFC 252.
“UFC offered Adesanya to fight on July 11 and August 15 and Adesanya declined both times,” Ismail said to BJPENN.com. “His coach claims Adesanya hasn’t gotten an offer which is not true. We have proof.”
Costa and Adesanya have had bad blood brewing for months. For Costa, he believes Adesanya is cocky and needs to be humbled. Adesanya has taken shots at Costa, insinuating that “Borrachinha” is on PEDs.
Aside from a personal rivalry, it’s clear to many that Costa is the most deserving title contender at middleweight. He holds the number one spot on the official UFC 185-pound rankings. He has a perfect pro MMA record of 13-0 and holds a unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero.
Adesanya is also unbeaten as an MMA fighter. His record stands at 19-0. He’s beaten the likes of Romero, Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum, and Anderson Silva.
In his 13 career wins, Costa has scored 11 TKO finishes and one submission. Of Adesanya’s 19 victories, 14 have come by way of knockout/TKO.
MMA News will keep you posted with the latest updates on the UFC middleweight title picture as they become available.