In a session charged as one of the greatest in late middleweight history, the magnetic Israel Adesanya made it look simple. Adesanya ruled Paulo Costa, finishing in a TKO at 2 minutes, 59 seconds of the second round in the headliner of UFC 253 on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi.
With the triumph, Adesanya scored his second effective UFC middleweight title safeguard.
It was just the second time in UFC history that two undefeated male contenders met in a title battle and the first run through since Rashad Evans versus Lyoto Machida for the light heavyweight belt in 2009.
Coming in, ESPN had Adesanya tied for No. 4 pound-for-pound on the planet with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. At middleweight, Adesanya was No. 1 and Costa was No. 3.
After a dreary exhibition in a title safeguard over Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in March, Adesanya said he needed to make it a highlight remind the media and fans how great he was. Adesanya landed more critical strikes in under two rounds Saturday (55) than he did in the whole five-round fight with Romero a half year prior (48), as per ESPN Stats and Info.
“Trust me,” Adesanya said in his post-battle meet. “I needed to make you all recall. I needed to remind the world why we the best.”
The card occurred at the as of late fabricated Flash Forum on Yas Island, which the UFC has named “Battle Island.” The advancement did its July record of battles in Abu Dhabi and has returned for five weeks to Yas Island starting with this card.
Adesanya butchered Costa’s lead leg with hard calf kicks from the absolute first moment of the battle. Costa endeavored to trap Adesanya in the first round, returning his hands behind his and standing out his tongue. Adesanya kept his poise, remained outwardly against the ground-breaking Costa and peppered him with shots from separation.
In the second round, Costa’s insults had halted – however Adesanya’s assaults didn’t. He proceeded with the surge to Costa’s left side leg and blended in punching mixes. Adesanya cut Costa with a decisive left head kick, which was the start of the end. Subsequent to getting a Costa body kick, Adesanya ripped off a frightful blend, finishing in a left snare to Costa’s ear. Costa dropped, Adesanya jumped on head of him and landed punches on the ground until ref Jason Herzog called the battle.
Adesanya (20-0) took out Robert Whittaker to bring together the middleweight title at UFC 243 on Oct. 6, 2019. He was the between time champion before that. The Nigerian-conceived New Zealander has won each of the nine of his UFC battles. Adesanya, 31, said thereafter Saturday that he needed to proceed with the middleweight tradition of previous 185-pound champion and legend Anderson Silva.
“I needed to do administration to the middleweight division and that is a hard demonstration to follow,” Adesanya said.
Costa (13-1) had won each of the five straight of his UFC battles coming in. The Brazilian slugger has completed 12 of his 13 profession triumphs. Costa, 29, is an alum of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, which circulated in 2014, and previous Jungle Fight middleweight champion.