A fight fans have been looking forward too since Adesanya claimed the UFC middleweight title in 2019, Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa finally has a date.
First reported by Combate, the matchup is set to take place at UFC 253 on September 19th with a venue still to be determined.
“Israel Adesanya x Paulo Borrachinha to UFC 253, September 19th”
This news was later confirmed by Costa who shared then news on his twitter.
“The fight is on folks! In September I’ll bring the Show up”
While the match-up was expected, there were rumors both fighters would be coaching teams on The Ultimate Fighter tv series in the lead-up to the bout. With everything going on and the small time frame until September this seems unlikely and remains to be seen if the show will be taped following the match-up.
Initially it was believed that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje would headline the September Pay-per-view, fighting to Unify the UFC Lightweight titles, however, due to the tragic passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov the fight seems to have been pushed back until later in the year.
Both Adesanya and Costa are coming off victories against Middleweight contender Yoel Romero. Costa defeated Romero at UFC 241 in August of 2019 in a fight of the night bout, Adesanya defeated Romero in the main event at UFC 248 in March of this year.
UFC President Dana White spoke at a recent press conference stating that holding an event in New Zealand could be a possibility as they are currently allowing some crowds at events, however, a time frame for when this could happen was not addressed. The UFC also has said they will return to Fight Island later in the year following their events to be held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.