clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Israel Adesanya under fire for turning down Paulo Costa fight (again) — ‘His coach lied’

UFC 248: Adesanya v Romero Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, does not appear to be in any kind of hurry to defend his 185-pound strap against No. 2-ranked title contender Paulo Costa.

But City Kickboxing Head Coach Eugene Bareman, who claims to be the decision maker behind all things “Stylebender,” insists the promotion never sent him any paperwork regarding a future showdown against the musclebound Brazilian.

“His coach lied,” manager Wallid Ismail told MMA Fighting. “He has to understand that when he says something in Australia we can see it right away in Brazil through the Internet. He can’t lie. There was an offer for July 11, and then they said August, and now they are talking September or October.”

The champ may or may not be dragging his feet on his next title defense, but it’s hard to imagine a fighter who agreed to face murderous power punchers like Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker would be afraid to pencil in “The Eraser.”

And “I’ll fight when I get around to it” is becoming all-too common these days.

“Adesanya can’t choose opponents, this is not a fucking video game,” Ismail said. “If he wants to choose opponents, just buy the UFC game. This is MMA and you have to put the No. 1 contender against the champion. The point is, this champion had a disaster of a performance last time he fought, so ‘Borrachinha’ is coming to save this pay-per-view.”

See you in September?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania