UFC 253: Adesanya and Costa Look to Remain Undefeated and Leave Fight Island as Champion
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, September 26, 2020
The UFC returns to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for another exciting lineup of events at the Flash Forum, beginning tonight with UFC 253, which is headlined by the highly anticipated UFC Middleweight Championship bout between reigning champion Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa; and Dominick Reyes vs Jan Blachowicsz for the vacant UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship.
Main Event: UFC Middleweight Championship – Israel Adesanya (c) vs Paulo Costa
The main event between Adesanya and Costa has been in the works for quite some time however, the bout had not come to fruition due to injuries putting a halt to the promotion’s plans. Although the bout could have happened as recently as last year, this is probably the perfect time for it to take place because both fighters have gained a larger following and remained unbeaten in impressive fashion.
UFC President Dana White has said on multiple occasions that he believes this main event will be “Fight of the Year” and has made it clear that it will live up to the hype, unlike Adesanya’s last title defense against Yoel Romero, which did not live up to expectations and saw fans boo both competitors during the fight.
Things got heated during yesterday’s weigh-ins after Costa brought out a white belt and threw it at the champion as a way of diminishing his abilities and essentially saying that he was not on his level. Adesanya and Costa then exchanged words before being separated. This has been a heated rivalry which is why the fight is such a highly anticipated bout: Adesanya and Costa have gone back and forth on social media and continued expressing their dislike for one another during their interviews on ESPN.
Based on their respective styles, this is an intriguing matchup: Adesanya has excellent striking and is very tactical and unorthodox, so he times his shots and is precise as opposed to just throwing reckless strikes and getting into a slugfest. Costa on the other hand, has powerful strikes and is aggressive with the amount of pressure he applies to his opponents.
I believe Adesanya will get his hand raised and retain his UFC Middleweight Championship. I think his striking, reach advantage, and experience fighting a full 5-rounds will come into play in this fight whereas Costa may start to slow down in the later rounds, leaving him vulnerable for the champion to take advantage and finish the fight.
Photo Credit: UFC (@ufc)