UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya | Pic: Benjamin Cooke / Throwdown Photography

Israel Adesanya is fresh off the win by unanimous decision against Yoel Romero. “The Last Stylebender” retained his middleweight title at UFC 248 on March 8 (AEDT) in Las Vegas.

The next in line to challenge the champion is Paulo Costa. The latter was expected to battle it out at this past event, but was unable to compete due to injury. Both men appeared at the UFC 248 post-fight press conference.

“I am 100 percent right now,” Costa said. “I did a light boxing sparing this morning. I feel great. The doctor says I am 100 percent free to go training hard, and I can fight in three months. But I think July 11 would be a nice date.”

Adesanya was asked when it would be ideal for him to fight Costa. He responded saying that July sounds good.

“That sounds good to me. July is my birthday month. I can do that.”

In addition, Dana White said that “Costa vs. Adesanya will be a ridiculous fight”.

No date has been suggested by the UFC President, as first Costa needs to be cleared by the doctor.

Prior securing the win over Romero, undefeated champion Israel Adesanya (19-0) claimed an undisputed middleweight title against former champion Robert Whittaker by knockout in the second round. Before that he took the interim belt in a five-round war with Kelvin Gastelum.

Unbeaten Paulo Costa (13-0) was last seen in action in August 2019 when he defeated Romero also by unanimous decision. Prior to that he won all of his previous bouts prior to the final horn. This includes the second-round stoppage victories over Uriah Hall, Johny Hendricks, Oluwale Bamgbose, the first-round submission of Eduardo Ramón, among others.


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