Hyderabad: Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes a triumphant return at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for UFC 253 this weekend. The event features two title fights in the main event and the co-main event respectively. The main event will witness UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya put his belt along with his perfect 19-0 record on the line against the undefeated Paulo Costa, who has a career record of 13-0.
The co-main event will witness a new era in the light heavyweight division as Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz battle over the vacant title in a quest to become the next man to reign over the 205-pound ranks. All fights on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 3 channels
Programme: Middleweight Title Bout (Main Event): Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa; Light Heavyweight Title Bout (Co-Main Event): Dominick Reyes vs Jan Błachowicz; Flyweight Bout: Kai Kara-France vs Brandon Royval; Women Bantamweight Bout: Ketlen Vieira vs Sijara Eubanks; Heavyweight Bout: Hakeem Dawodu vs Zubaira Tukhugov.
The feud between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa has been brewing for quite some time now as both undefeated UFC athletes go against each other in a highly anticipated grudge match carrying all the elements needed to be a Fight of the Year contender.
In his first 25 months on the UFC roster, Adesanya went 8-0 inside the Octagon, winning the interim middleweight title in one of 2019’s best fights opposite Kelvin Gastelum before unifying the belts with a second-round finish of Robert Whittaker last October. In his first title defense, “The Last Stylebender” edged out Yoel Romero in a tactical chess match that allowed the Nigerian-born New Zealander to maintain his place atop the division.
Speaking to the media ahead of UFC 253, Adesanya said , “The only people he ever beat that are worthy of anything are two guys that are ranked, Uriah Hall and Romero. Who else has he beat that’s ranked? I can list you four guys that I have. You have to understand there’s levels to this. Like I said, he’s dumb, but that’s what makes him dangerous as well because he’s not scared to walk forward and throw punches and kicks all around the Octagon. I don’t like these kind of trash-talkers. This sport don’t need this kind of attitude. You don’t need this to sell a good fight. You just need to go and make a good fight.”
Costa made his UFC debut in 2017 by knocking out Garreth McLellan in 77 seconds. Costa followed that win with three second-round knockout victories over Oluwale Bamgbose, former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall. The Brazilian has a perfect 5-0 record inside the Octagon and is 13-0 overall, with his Fight of the Night-winning victory over Romero at UFC 241 last summer standing as the best fight of his career to date.
Speaking to the media ahead of UFC 253, Costa took a jibe at Adesanya and said, “I really think he has good skills. His best skill is running away, avoiding the fight. He’s very good on that. Very good when he wants to do that. I try to ask him why he just stood when he faced Romero. The only thing more disturbing than his hair was his fight against Romero.”
This highly anticipated main event could be over in a flash, or it could go the full five rounds of a championship fight. The only thing that is certain is that everyone is already counting down the hours until these two hit the Octagon and viewers will be on the edge of their seats from the moment the Brazilian Costa starts to make his walk to the Octagon UFC cage to challenge UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for his belt.
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