UFC president Dana White has offered a simple explanation for why Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa isn’t official yet.
It’s clear to many that the next UFC middleweight title bout to make is Adesanya vs. Costa. Back in March, Costa was set to get a crack at Adesanya’s 185-pound gold. Costa was still recovering from surgery, so “The Last Stylebender” ended up successfully defending his championship against Yoel Romero.
Dana White Reveals Why Adesanya vs. Costa Still Isn’t Official
White has committed to booking Adesanya vs. Costa but we’re in mid-July and the title fight still isn’t official. Speaking to media members ahead of UFC on ESPN 13, the UFC boss briefly explained why that is the case (h/t Jose Youngs).
“Dana White on why UFC hasn’t announced Adesanya vs. Costa: ‘We just haven’t done it. We’re focused here focused on Fight Island.'”
Adesanya and “Borrachinha” have been chopping at the bit to share the Octagon. Costa hasn’t been shy in expressing his disdain for Adesanya. The number one-ranked middleweight feels Adesanya is cocky and wants to humble him. Adesanya has called Costa an “overly inflated balloon animal,” insinuating that “Borrachina” is on PEDs.
With a rivalry as hot as this one, many felt the UFC would’ve struck sooner. Costa believes his feud with Adesanya is even more intense than the one Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen had. Of course, the UFC was thrown a curveball with the coronavirus pandemic and has been focused on putting on shows on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and the UFC APEX.
Both Adesanya and Costa are perfect in their pro MMA careers. The middleweight king is 19-0, while Costa holds a record of 13-0. Costa hasn’t competed since Aug. 2019.
MMA News will keep you posted on the latest updates regarding the likely booking of Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa as more becomes available.