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Phenom: Paulo Costa the new version of Vitor Belfort — ‘Great physique, very talented’

Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort believes top-ranked middleweight contender Paulo Costa is this generation’s version of “The Phenom,” which would make reigning 185-pound titleholder Israel Adesanya the new Anderson Silva.

Hopefully for “The Eraser” that doesn’t hold true on fight night, because Belfort got destroyed by “The Spider” in the first round of their UFC 126 title fight. And when you consider Belfort’s drug testing woes, this comparison is starting to sound less flattering by the minute.

“Borrachinha has very good hands, he learned a lot of stuff with me,” Belfort told Submission Radio. “It’s like the new version of Anderson, the new version of Belfort. Borrachinha is representing me, a guy with a great physique, very talented, young. And he has a lot of experience, he’s earned his respect.”

Belfort was never that big on humility.

“I think that’s what it is, that’s what’s cool about the future, when you have people that paved the way,” the Brazilian continued. “It’s literally like he’s the new version of Anderson and the new version of the Phenom, for sure.”

The undefeated Costa (13-0) will try to dethrone the equally unblemished Adesanya (19-0) in the UFC 253 main event later this month on “Fight Island.” As for Belfort (26-14, 1 NC), he returns to action opposite Alain Ngalani (4-5) at some point later this year.

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