There are currently two young prospects shining in the UFC’s middleweight division – Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya.
The 27-year-old Brazilian, Costa, is currently undefeated in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. He has racked up 12-straight wins and his latest victory really turned some heads. Costa defeated Uriah Hall at UFC 226 earlier this month (July 7, 2018). He finished Hall in the second round via TKO.
Just one night before him 28-year-old Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya put on an equally impressive performance against one of the middleweight division’s top-ranked competitors, Brad Tavares. Over the course of five rounds, Adesanya completely out-classed Tavares and proved he’s ready to take on the best competition 185 pounds has to offer.
Adesanya called for the winner of Costa and Hall after his win, and with Costa winning that fight, it would put two of the UFC’s most promising middleweights up against one another. UFC President Dana White has voiced that this is a match-up he’d like to avoid for the time being, and understandably so.
Why risk having one of the two hottest prospects you have at middleweight fall off by putting them against one another so early in their UFC runs?
Costa told MMA Junkie recently that, while his current focus is landing a fight with former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, if the UFC puts Adesanya in front of him next he’s ready to go to work:
“The first time I heard his name was on Friday when he fought,” said Costa. “People asked me about this fight, and I said I don’t know this guy. But if the people want this fight, let’s make this fight.
“My priority is Chris Weidman. He’s a former champion, he’s very famous in the world, and he’s higher ranked. But I’m a fighter, and the UFC decides. (UFC President) Dana White decides. I’m here to make the biggest and the greatest fights. So if he wants it and everybody wants it, I’ll fight Israel.”
What are your thoughts on a possible clash between Costa and Adesanya? Let us know in the comments section below!