Israel Adesanya Denies Initially Declining Kelvin Gastelum Fight

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Israel Adesanya has a different version of events than Paulo Costa regarding how the upcoming interim middleweight championship bout between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum scheduled for UFC 236 came about.

Shortly after the middleweight bout was announced, Paulo Costa revealed that Israel Adesanya had initially turned down the fight, at which point Paulo Costa was offered to step in and fight Kelvin Gastelum for the interim middleweight championship instead. In a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” Adesanya scoffed at Costa’s claim:

“Hold up, hasn’t he been scheduled to fight Yoel for how long? Exactly,” Adesanya said. “So how the fuck would they even offer him a fight when he’s already scheduled to fight Yoel and Yoel’s not injured or anything? You see how they fuckin’ lie?

“Maybe it might be lost in translation or some shit, but no. I didn’t even leave Melbourne before they offered me that fight. And I was like, shit, I’m still in Melbourne. Let me go chill for a second. And then, I’ll take the fight. But then, I think it was like a day later, I was like, fine, let’s go.”

“But no, I never turned it down. Not even once.”

Israel Adesanya has concluded that Paulo Costa’s remarks are just another example of middleweights who covet the attention that the rising star is garnering at the moment:

“It doesn’t even matter, guys like that, him, Chris (Weidman), they’re just trying to get some shine because the spotlight’s on me right now.

Whose version of events do you believe? Israel Adesanya’s or Paulo Costa’s?