Unlike other rivalries, don’t expect Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya to make up after their fight is over.
Costa is set to challenge Adesanya for his middleweight title in the UFC 253 headliner which takes place September 19, though a location is still not confirmed as of yet.
It promises to be a heated but exciting affair with both fighters clearly not a fan of the other. And that was only further reiterated in a recent interview where Costa claimed he would not shake Adesanya’s hand after the fight even if he emerged victorious.
“Even after I knock him out, I will not shake his hand,” Costa told MMA Junkie. “It will be wild. It will be savage. … I believe in the second round (I will knock him out) because he will run a lot in the first round.”
Costa Will Hunt Adesanya Down In The Cage
Another reason the fight is so highly-anticipated is because it will be a rare title fight between two undefeated fighters.
Barring an unlikely draw, one of the pair will lose their undefeated record and Costa is confident he will be the one whose record remains perfect — especially given his abilities and style going up against Adesanya.
“I will not be staying and waiting for him,” Costa said. “I know he can run a lot, and that’s what he wants to do, what he usually does. I won’t wait like [Yoel] Romero did. I will hunt him inside the cage and close the distance and land my shots to his body and his face. … Don’t go so fast like [Robert] Whittaker and don’t go slow like Romero. Make a balance. I think I am very different from both guys because I can pressure him every minute for the 25 minutes.
“I can keep the pressure very, very aggressive against him. I can push him at all times, and I have a lot of power in my hands, on my bones in my hands and kicks. Against him, I just need one shot to finish the fight.”
Do you think Costa comes out on top against Adesanya?