Fighting Words: Has Paulo Costa Made Israel Adesanya Feel Uncomfortable?
Paulo Costa feels he has Israel Adesanya frazzled.
Costa is set to challenge Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship. “Borrachina” will share the Octagon with “The Last Stylebender” on September 26. The highly-anticipated title fight will serve as the UFC 253 main event.
During an interview with MMAFighting.com, Costa explained why he feels he has caused Adesanya discomfort in the leadup to their title bout.
“He’s acting like someone that’s been bothered, someone that’s uncomfortable. The worst thing that can happen to a fighter, especially one that has the belt, is to get uncomfortable. His actions, the way he thinks, he even said… He got to the point of asking me not to do any trolling or anything stupid thing with my gang during fight week.”
There has been bad blood brewing between Costa and Adesanya. On numerous occasions, Costa has said that the UFC 185-pound king needs to be humbled. Adesanya has accused Costa of being on performance-enhancing drugs.
If you take out the animosity factor, there is still much intrigue in the fight. Both men are unbeaten as professionals in MMA competition. Adesanya holds a perfect pro record of 19-0, while Costa’s record stands at 13-0. Between the two, Adesanya and Costa have 25 knockout victories.
Costa last competed back on August 17, 2019. He defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision. Many argue that up to this point, it’s the biggest victory in Costa’s career.
Adesanya’s last fight was also against Romero. “The Last Stylebender” also bested Romero via unanimous decision. It was the first successful title defense for Adesanya.
Also featured on the UFC 253 card will be a UFC Light Heavyweight Title bout. Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz will fight for the vacant 205-pound gold in the co-main event. The title became vacated when previous champion Jon Jones decided to relinquish the championship.