With the extra time Paulo Costa received to heal from surgery because of Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) hiatus as a result of COVID-19, it’s only a matter of time before the promotion books him against Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.
It’s one Adesanya is chomping at the bit to get, as he is desperate to silence all the doubters following his less-than thrilling title defense against Yoel Romero. Furthermore, he is eager to put his beef with Costa to bed. And if he had his say in the matter, “The Last Stylebender” — who is all about the theatrics — wants it to go down on UFC’s “Fight Island” to add a bit more flavor to it.
“I like ‘Fight Island.’ The movie, like the cinema I have in my head – because I’m the protagonist, right, and Costa would be the antagonist in the end of this movie – and to finish it off on ‘Fight Island,’ that just seems like some ‘Mortal Kombat’ type of (expletive). It’s just like, you couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Adesanya told MMA Junkie.
While most are giving Costa the power advantage in the title fight, Adesanya says people shouldn’t be too quick to count him out, revealing that he will be the stalker come fight night.
“You will be surprised how I’m going to walk this guy down at a certain point in this fight, how he’ll be the one taking a backward step,” he said before predicting that he will hand Paulo his first loss in MMA by way of knockout.
“It’s finishing – I’m knocking him out,” he said. “That’s how I feel. It’s kill or be killed. Don’t get me wrong – like, I don’t think he’s going to catch me, and if he does, he’ll be quite surprised at my durability because a lot of people forget.
“They say, ‘Oh, he was scared of Romero’s power.’ It’s like, do you know how many (expletives) I’ve fought in this game – not just in MMA, but in kickboxing? Everyone has power, but there’s levels to this power (expletive),” he concluded.
Like Adesanya, Costa has yet to taste defeat in his professional MMA career, going 13-0, including winning all five of his UFC bouts (four via knockout). In his last outing, Costa out-scored Yoel Romero at UFC 241 earning him his first-ever UFC title fight.
But after suffering an injury, the hulking Brazilian had to sit by and watch “Soldier of God” get first crack at dethroning Adesanya, though he came up short at UFC 248. As far as “Fight Island” is concerned, Dana White expects it to be up and running by June.