Undefeated Middleweight rivals, Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa, talked the talk and tonight (Sat., Sept. 26, 2020) it was finally time to walk the walk in the main event of UFC 253, which took place inside Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabu, United Arab Emirates. Indeed, in addition to bragging rights and the 185-pound world title, someone’s “O” had to go ...
Costa, the challenger, was of course the first to make his way to the cage:
Then it was the champ’s turn, whose entrance was way more subdued and serious than normal:
Unsurprisingly, both fighters refused to touch gloves in the center of the cage. Costa came out of his corner and squared up, with Adesanya unleashing some low kicks to keep the hulking Brazilian at bay. Costa returned fire with a heavy low kick of his own, then one to the body as Adesanya popped and locked, trying to keep Costa guessing. Adesanya continued with the low kicks, but Costa kept lurching forward, putting his hands behind his back and goading Adesanya to keep it going. Costa put his hands on his hips and tried to bait Adesanya into a firefight, but the champ just shrugged it off and called him “Romero.” More low kicks to Costa’s front foot, causing the knee to turn bright red from the continued assault. Costa lost patience and tried to bully his way inside, but Adesanya turned him aside and coasted until the round ended likely in his favor.
Adesanya continued his lower leg assault, both inside and outside. He connected with two of his own, but clearly not part of his gameplan coming into the bout. Costa tried to trap him in the corner once again, but Adesanya slipped out, landed a body kick, then some more low kicks — then a head kick that opened up Costa’s brow. Adesanya continued to pick him apart from range, mixing it up with the jab as a frustrated, leaking Costa had no response. Then in a flash, Adesanya slipped a right hook and countered with a hard left cross that bounced off Costa’s forehead. Costa corkscrewed into the mat and Adesanya pounced, drilling Costa with punches and elbows until he was forced to turtle up. Adesanya kept the onslaught going until the referee had no choice but to stop it.
Final result: Adesanya defeats Costa via second round technical knockout (strikes)
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