We’re less than a week away from a mouth-watering middleweight title matchup of Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, and Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa on UFC ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 253 – but both men engaged in somewhat of a face-off in Abu Dhabi this week, prior to the usual Friday evening pleasantries.

Both Adesanya and Costa recently jetted out to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE – hoping to acclimatise ahead of their September 24th. main event clash.

Nigerian-Kiwi, Adesanya scored the first defence of his 185-pound crown opposite Yoel Romero in March at UFC 248 – in a largely unmemorable pairing. For fellow undefeated striking ace, Costa – the Brazilian Belo-Horizonte native was set to clash with Adesanya earlier this year instead of Romero but was forced to sit out on the sidelines amid a bicep injury. Costa last featured at UFC 241 in August of last year – taking an entertaining unanimous judging win over common-opponent, the aforenoted, Romeo.

Ahead of next weekend’s pairing, Costa’s manager, former UFC and PRIDE FC feature, Wallid Ismail posted a video on his official Instagram of Adesanya and the Brazilian coming face to face in Abu Dhabi, in what was largely a quite jovial meeting – with both joking of Costa’s physique, and exchanging a handshake.

@borrachinhamma X @stylebender @ufc @abudhabi September 26 LIVE ON PPV Warriors only fight in the cage, they may have a personal problem, but they will solve everything in the Octagon.

Both the champion and the challenger have maintained staggering 19-0, and 13-0 professional résumés, respectively, with a combined twenty-five stoppages via knockout. Adesanya has himself scored eight straight successes since his Octagon debut just two years ago – while TUF alum, Costa has managed to notch five wins under the UFC banner.

Adesanya and Costa take headlining honours at UFC 253 next weekend – ahead of a vacant light heavyweight title pairing of most recent title challenger, Dominick ‘The Devasatator’ Reyes, and perennial contender, Jan Błachowicz.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.