Israel Adesanya Explains Encounter With Paulo Costa Ahead Of UFC 253
Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa met in person before UFC 253 but the interaction may have not been as friendly as initially perceived.
Adesanya and Costa have had bad blood brewing for months. The two have gone back-and-forth with Adesanya calling Costa an “overly inflated balloon animal” and Costa expressing his belief that Adesanya is cocky and needs to be humbled. The two will collide for Adesanya’s UFC Middleweight Title this Saturday, September 26.
With the animosity between Adesanya and Costa being high, many were surprised when the two were seemingly cordial when they met face-to-face in Abu Dhabi. Adesanya told reporters that he was simply sizing Costa up (via MMAJunkie.com).
“I went over there to kind of check his energy,” he explained. “I went there, sized him up, patted him on the shoulder to feel how dense he is. I shook his hand because I wanted to feel the kind of pressure he put on, from a guy who said ‘I won’t shake his hand when I beat him.’ He’s just like one of those dogs that just barks behind the fence, but when the fence opens up he just comes around like, real timid.”
Adesanya went on to say that he even made a comment that he felt would’ve sent Costa into a frenzy but that didn’t happen.
“So I went to check his energy and I even said, ‘You look skinny.’ I expected him to take that the wrong way, but he and Wallid (his manager) were giggling like little girls, so I already knew what I already knew. It just confirmed that I knew that they were gonna submit to me, so yeah, he didn’t check out when I checked him.”