Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his division title against undefeated 185-pound bruiser Paulo Costa in the UFC 253 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Sat., Sept. 15, 2020 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The protracted build up to their championship grudge match has gotten personal over the last few months, at least for the challenger, which is why Costa has no plans to shake hands after capturing the middleweight crown from “The Last Stylebender.”
“Even after I knock him out, I will not shake his hand,” Costa told MMA Junkie. “It will be wild. It will be savage. I believe in the second round (I will knock him out) because he will run a lot in the first round. To Israel Adesanya I would just like to say: Don’t give up in this fight. Let’s fight. It’s your time to fight me, to face me, and let’s see how many hits on your skinny body, skinny face you can get.”
Costa (13-0) blasted his way into the middleweight title picture with five straight wins under the UFC banner, with four of them ending by way of brutal knockout. “The Eraser” was last seen rubbing out Yoel Romero in their UFC 241 showdown last August.
As for Adesanya (19-0), he’s also coming off a decision win over “Soldier of God” and hopes to finally silence the “dumb casuals” by putting Costa in his place. No word yet on whether or not “The Last Stylebender” shares his opponent’s handshake philosophy.