The UFC has its headliner for their September pay-per-view card. It was reported by Combate Israel Adesanya will defend his undisputed middleweight belt against Paulo Costa at UFC 253. The fight will be the first UFC title match between two undefeated male fighters since Rashad Evans fought Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 over 11 years ago. UFC 253 is believed to take place on September 19th, at a location yet to be determined.
Israel Adesanya was booked to fight Costa earlier this year before a bicep injury took the Brazilian out of the running. Instead, “The Last Stylebender” fought Yoel Romero to take a slow-paced decision victory to mark his first title defence. Adesanya is a former GLORY kickboxing world title contender. Adesanya is also one of two fighters featured on the cover of EA Sports UFC 4.
Paulo Costa is coming off of his own decision victory over Yoel Romero. “The Eraser” has often clashed with Adesanya in the war of words. Adesanya mocked the muscled 185er as a “blown-up Ricky Martin”. Later, Costa would criticise Adesanya for a joke the latter made about 9/11 in the run-up to his title defence against Romero.
Adesanya versus Costa: UFC 253
The long awaited match between the two middleweights was speculated to be featured in a season of The Ultimate Fighter. However, it seems an unfortunate turn of events has nixed that. The UFC was believed to be looking at a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje to headline UFC 253. However, the tragic death of Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, has put that fight on ice for the time being. The UFC likely used Adesanya/Costa to fill in for UFC 253 in that fight’s absence.
According to Combate, there are three other fights speculated for UFC 253. They are Mackenzie Dern versus Randa Markos, Hakeem Dawodu versus Zubaira Tukhugov and Cyril Gane versus Shamil Abdurakhimov.
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