The reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya makes the second defense of his belt against challenger Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253. The location accommodating the pay-per-view fight card on September 26 is yet to be announced. However “Fight Island” on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is likely to host the event headlined by the bout, that Dana White predicted to become “The Fight of the Year”.
UFC 253 location
Talking to reporters at UFC 252: Miocic vs Cormier 3 post-event press conference White was asked whether he could reveal the place of Adesanya vs Costa showdown. The answer was “not yet”. When asked if there was a chance it could happen in Las Vegas or “we are thinking Fight Island?” – White said “I don’t know”.
Later UFC President was asked if the promotion was planning to return to Fight Island in 2020.
“Yeah. I said last time we were there it wouldn’t be the last time we were there this year. We will go back to Fight Island,” White confirmed. “Any international fight we do has to be done there.”
Considering the above it is logically to assume that the location for UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa is Fight Island after all. Adesanya is based in New Zealand, while Costa is in Brazil.
Although the location for Adesanya vs Costa wasn’t announced it is logically to assume that the #ufc253 will take place on #fightisland @danawhite said at #ufc252 post-fight presser that all international fighters (living outside the US) will fight there. So that must be it 🌴
— Parviz Iskenderov (@parviziskender) August 16, 2020
Fight of the Year
UFC President also looked forward to what is set for the coming months. The schedule includes a highly anticipated lightweight championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, as well as the Israel Adesanya up against Paulo Costa, which he believes is going to be “The Fight of the Yar”.
“I’m very excited about what’s coming up in the fall. We have a tonne of fun fights. Like I said Adesanya vs Costa right now is the fight of the year. I predict that’s gonna be an incredibly badass fight.”
“I think stylistically it’s a perfect fight. If you look at the way Costa fights – he puts pressure on you, he stays in your face the whole time. Adesanya likes to stay on the outside, he’ll pick you apart.”
“I think that fight’s gonna be an absolute war. Just stylistically it matches up really really well. Both guys are animals, both guys want this fight really bad. I think it’s gonna be fight of the year.”
The Ultimate Fighter
Earlier this year Ultimate Fighting Championship was planning to re-launch The Ultimate Fighter series. It was rumored that Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa would be the coaches of the competing teams. The later was reportedly keen.
“We just gotta figure it out [the date and details of TUF relaunch], White said. “With all the crazy sh*t that’s going on this year its sort of put The Ultimate Fighter on the back-burner, when we were getting ready to do it. Now we are back to talking about pulling it off.”
“He [Costa] wants to do it really bad, and I love the fact that he wants to do it. So if I can make it with him, I would definitely [do it], just for the simple fact that he wants to do it that bad.”
Undefeated champion Israel Adesanya (19-0) won his last fight in March by unanimous decision against Yoel Romero. In October 2019 he knocked Robert Whittaker out in the second round to claim an undisputed title, after earning an interim belt by unanimous decision against Kelvin Gastelum.
Unbeaten Paulo Costa (13-0) last fought in August 2019 when he defeated Romero also by unanimous decision. Prior to that he won all of his fights inside two rounds by way of KO/TKO and one submission.