The news broke earlier this morning indicating the date of September 19, when Israel Adesanya would defend his middleweight title against Paulo Costa in the headliner of UFC 253. Brazilian website Combate was first to announce the happening, with several outlets reporting the confirmation of the event with the sources. Nevertheless, UFC President Dana White stated that the fight is yet to be signed by both competitors.
“I don’t think that’s true,” Dana White told reporters at the UFC Fight Island 2 post-fight press conference on Sunday. “I don’t think both have signed the deal.”
After (looking it and) confirming with his assistants, UFC President said that “it’s not done”.
“They were told not to say anything. Combate breaks it immediately. Tweeting… The fight is not done,” he concluded.
UFC President @danawhite says Adesanya vs Costa is not official.
"I don't think both have signed"
— FIGHTMAG (@fightmag) July 19, 2020
Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa were expected to square off this past March. The latter was unable to compete due to injury, and was replaced by Yoel Romero, who failed to claim the belt.
“Stylebender” scored a unanimous decision and made the first successful defense of his title. In addition he updated his undefeated record to 19-0.
Unbeaten challenger Paulo Costa (13-0) last fought in August 2019, when he defeated Romero also by unanimous decision.