It’s clear that Paulo Costa has no plans to be chummy with Israel Adesanya.
Costa appears to be in prime position for a UFC middleweight title shot after defeating Yoel Romero. Costa earned a unanimous decision victory over “The Soldier of God” this past Saturday night (Aug. 17) at UFC 241. If a title opportunity does arise, Costa will have to wait for the title unification bout between Robert Whittaker and Adesanya on Oct. 5.
The war of words between Costa and Adesanya is nothing new. After Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum to capture the interim middleweight title, Costa called him a fake champion. “The Last Stylebender” fired back on MMAFighting’s “The MMA Hour.”
“Hold up, fake champ? Does he have a belt? He wishes he was the ‘fake’ champ as well. First of all, didn’t he get popped for something recently for some acai in his stomach or something? I just wanna get him before USADA gets him. And eventually if he climbs up the ranks like he thinks he will, eventually we’ll see each other so he can find out. Gastelum’s a tough guy. He [Costa] got touched up after the Uriah [Hall] fight. … A guy like that’s just salty. He’s just salty cause I’m the one getting the shine. They’re trying to steal my shine and I’m like, ‘f*ck no.’”
Speaking to reporters during the UFC 241 post-fight press conference, Costa sent a warning to Adesanya (via Bloody Elbow).
“I think Whittaker will smash Adesanya. But if Adesanya wins, I will be happy to slap his face,” he said. “It’s personal against Adesanya. He’s talked sh-t a lot, and he’s not proven (himself) yet. He needs to prove (himself),” he continued. “If Adesanya takes this belt, I will kill him.”