Israel Adesanya isn’t interested in a “Fight of the Year” contender against Paulo Costa.
Adesanya is scheduled to meet Costa in the main event of UFC 253 on Sept. 26. “The Last Stylebender” will put his UFC middleweight championship on the line. These two have been involved in a war of words over the past few months and they’ll finally get to share the Octagon barring unforeseen circumstances.
Adesanya Wants To Decimate Costa
Adesanya had a virtual media scrum and told reporters that he wants a dominant showing against Costa rather than a barn burner (h/t MMAJunkie).
“I think a performance of the year, shutout of the year, shutdown of the year maybe,” Adesanya told MMA Junkie during Tuesday’s UFC 253 virtual media day. “‘Fight of the Year?’ I’ve already had that in my back pocket, but if it happens again – I don’t think it’s going to happen just because of the situation. You have to be smart enough to put it together. This guy gasses after the first round. We have five rounds. Look at me in all my fights in the fifth, the fourth round, the third round, the later rounds – I’m always fresh. So, yeah, precision is going to be the key to this fight. Precision, skill and just taking him out one by one.”
Fight fans haven’t forgotten Adesanya’s last outing. He took on Yoel Romero back in March in the main event of UFC 248. While Adesanya earned his first successful UFC title defense with a unanimous decision win, many fans panned the bout due to a lack of action. Adesanya has admitted that the fight was less than stellar and hopes to right the wrong against Costa.
As for Costa, this fight is significant in more ways than one. To start, this will be Costa’s first crack at UFC gold. On top of that, he has the opportunity to put away his heated rival in Adesanya.