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

The reigning undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (19-0) is expected to face unbeaten challenger Paulo Costa (13-0) in his next title defense. The contest might take place at Dana White’s “Fight Island” at a yet to be determined date some time this year. Both fighters have previously mentioned July 11.

In his last appearance inside the Octagon “The Last Stylebender” faced “The Soldier of God”, Yoel Romero. He kept the belt by unanimous decision, yet the fight did not produce the anticipated fireworks.

Adesanya looks to rebound and prove himself, when he meets “Eraser” inside the MMA cage.

“This next fight is about me. It’s not really about Costa or anyone else. It’s about me proving myself,” he told MMA Fighting.

“After that last fight [against Romero], and dealing with what I had to deal with a statue, I’m looking to actually to go in there and have fun this time.”

Costa last fought in August 2019 when he defeated Romero also by unanimous decision. Before that none of his bouts went the distance. This includes the second-round stoppage of Uriah Hall, Johny Hendricks and Oluwale Bamgbose, the first-round submission of Eduardo Ramon, among others.

“This is picture perfect,” Adesanya said. “That’s why I love it. The way he looks, this juiced up monkey, evil Drago looking motherf*cker.”

“There’s a skinny boy coming in there to whoop his ass. And when he whoops his ass… The sh*t I’m going to do to him afterwards. Oh my god.”

“All the sh*t he said leading up to this fight, he’s going to pay for it. He’s going to hear after the fight. Guarantee you.”

“This is going to be so fun. “The lead up to the fight, I will bury him on the mic. Oh my god. His broken English. You watch. Pay attention.”

Prior to the fight against Romero, Adesanya KO’d Robert Whittaker in the second round and claimed an undisputed 185-pound belt. Before that he defeated Kelvin Gastelum to take an interim title and defeated Anderson Silva by unanimous decision (full fight video here).


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