It’s safe to say newly-minted interim UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has taken the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by storm since his UFC debut in February 2018.
‘The Last Stylebender’ has won an incredible six straight fights in that time, an almost unheard of number in such a short span in today’s UFC. The run was culminated by his thrilling decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of last weekend’s UFC 236 from Atlanta, Georgia.
After the win, Adesanya largely gained the praises of the collective MMA world. However, there were two high-profile names who weren’t impressed with ‘The Last Stylebender.’ One, of course, was UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who continued his social media beef with Adesanya before abruptly calling it off.
The other was middleweight contender Paulo Costa, who called out Adesanya for being a ‘fake champ.’
“Really this is the interim (fake) champ? Hahah. No doubt this weight division has already been better than this (expletive). Enjoy this while you can man, I really hope that you take the real belt one day to meet me. Note: And I’m not the Gastelum.”
Adesanya Fires Back At Costa
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Adesanya had a heated response for Costa’s callout. He noted that the hulking Brazilian only wished he was a so-called ‘fake champ’ like him:
“Fake champ? Does he have belt?. He wishes he was a fake champion as well” Adesanya laughed. “Didn’t he get popped for something recently? Like Açaí in the stomach or something? I just want to get him before USADA gets him and eventually, if he climbs up the ranks like he thinks he will, then eventually we’ll see each other. Gastelum is a tough guy and he got touched up by Uriah. Did you see his face after the Uriah fight? He got touched up.”
“But, hey, even Chris Weidman gave me props. He gave me props when it was due. So, a guy like [Costa] is salty. He’s salty because I’m the one getting the shine so they’re trying to steal my shine and I’m like ‘f*ck no.’”
Bring On The Haters
Overall, Adesanya knows that with great success, there will always be haters. He boldly compared his situation to that of one Jesus Christ:
“If you ain’t got haters then you ain’t doing it right,” Adesanya said. “Before me, there was Jesus. I’m not saying I’m even close, I’m just saying no matter who you are you’re going to have haters. I just welcome it now.”
As for Costa, he’s been embroiled in a strange situation with the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) that has left him unable to fight due to a stomach medication issue. He’s been out of action since facing Uriah Hall last July as a result. ‘Borrachinha’ has long been linked to a fight with Yoel Romero, but it has yet to materialize at this point.
Adesanya, meanwhile, will move on to a huge title unification fight with undisputed middleweight champ Robert Whittaker later this year.