We’re roughly one month out from the middleweight championship showdown between reigning 185-pound champion Israel Adesanya and undefeated top contender Paulo Costa, who collide in the UFC 253 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, presumably on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.
That’s probably why ESPN trotted out both combatants for a lengthy shouting match on SportsCenter, though to be fair, Adesanya did most of the shouting — and most of the dry heaving — when Costa unveiled his Brazilian six pack.
“He’s dumb,” Adesanya said (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “He’s dumb and he walks forward and he throws shots. That’s what makes it really exciting, and that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to this big, inflated ignoramus, running up on me, trying to throw shots as I keep moving and sticking him.”
Adesanya (19-0), who captured the division crown by smashing Robert Whittaker last October, is coming off a tepid decision win over Yoel Romero back in March. Costa (13-0) also skated past “Soldier of God” his last time out and makes his long-awaited return after undergoing biceps surgery.
“I really think he has good skills,” Costa said. “His best skill is running away – avoid the fight. He’s very good at that – very good when he wants to do that. I tried to ask him why he just stood when he faced Romero. The only thing more disturbing than his hair was his fight against Romero.”
Sept. 26 can’t come soon enough.