Combat sports fans seem to be clinging to this narrative that UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa is just a big muscular dummy who will lumber forward and throw bombs while Israel Adesanya kicks it into reverse and picks him apart at range.
Might be time to look at the stats.
Costa (13-0) lands 8.43 significant strikes per minute, according to the official records, with an accuracy of 57 percent. Adesanya (19-0) by comparison lands just 3.96 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 48 percent.
“The people have some thoughts that he’s the sniper and I’m just the tough guy who throws heavy punches but I’m not,” Costa told reporters at the UFC 253 press conference. “My punches have the correct address to arrive.”
It should be noted that Costa has just five fights inside the Octagon while Adesanya has appeared eight times under the UFC banner. In addition, “The Last Stylebender” has better defensive stats, absorbing a mere 2.4 strikes per minute with a striking defense of 65 percent.
Costa absorbs 6.84 strikes per minute with a striking defense of 53 percent.
“Everybody saw when he fought Romero,” Costa continued. “If one guy doesn’t push him, he will not push out. He stood, the guy came for him. So I will try to push him, to bring him to the fight, but if he avoid the fight I will not chase him all the time. I will go back to the middle and cut the angles and try to make the fight happen.”
Somebody’s “O” has got to go.
Adesanya defends his middleweight title against Costa in the UFC 253 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on ESPN+ this Sat. night (Sept. 26, 2020) inside Flash Forum on “Fight Island” (Yas Island) in Abu Dhabi. To see the entire UFC 253 fight card click here.