There wasn’t a matchup so close like the headlined of the UFC 253. Israel Adesanya will defend his title against the ferocious challenger, Paulo Costa, in a contest that draws enormous attention. Apart from Yoel Romero (who did lose against both, but after close calls), there weren’t many who managed to defy these two. By far, both Adesanya and Costa are the most attractive fighters in the middleweight category.
Adesanya is the current champion, after trashing Robert Whittaker at the UFC 243. That match showed all of his potential, but the next one diminished that. It was a fight against Romero, in which the Last Stylebender pretty much ran away each time Romero went after him.
The champ was very conservative in his first title defense, keeping the distance between him and the challenger with his long reach, mostly lek kicks, without having any other initiative. To be honest, we are not quite sure how he won via unanimous decision, because this one was, according to many, an even bout.
Overall, Adesanya has eight wins in the UFC, 19 in his pro career. Five of those in the organization were after a decision, one split vs. Marvin Vettori, and that one is also controversial. The Nigerian-born has triumphed against Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, and Kelvin Gastelum while climbing the ladder.
He is a superb hitter, whose power and mobility is fascinating. There isn’t a guy in the UFC slicked as Adesanya, who can easily hit you with his leg and arm simultaneously without losing a drop of his balance. However, there is one thing that many mention when speaking about him. He wasn’t tested up until this point. We didn’t see his endurance and stamina in the moments when taking punches and against Paulo Costa that is extremely important.
The Brazilian has five wins in the UFC, and all but the one against Romero were after he demolished the rivals. He is the most devastating puncher in the UFC, and that is a fact. Some are comparing him with Francis Ngannou, and know that they aren’t doing anything wrong here. Paulo Costa can knock out any heavyweight with his fists.
Unlike Adesanya, his chin has been probed, which happened against the only one in the division who can match his strength, Yoel Romero. The two went back and forth against one another at the UFC 241, providing the fans massive spectacle and the Fight of the Year. In our humble opinion, this was the best fight in the previous five years.
Before this, Costa defeated Uriah Hall, Johny Hendricks, Oluwale Bamgbose, and Garreth McLellan, beating the hell out of them. The Borrachina, as he is called, will take a shot to get closer, and once he does that, there will be a pain. He works well with his legs too, and to be honest, apart from grappling, which he didn’t use too much, we can’t say that he has a weakness.
We are sure that this one won’t disappoint. Both Adesanya and Costa didn’t have such challenges before. The Brazilian didn’t have to fight an opponent with such a big reach (8 inches longer than his). On the other side, Adesanya definitely never had the opportunity to experience hits like Costa’s.
We will give an edge to Borrachina, with the odds at BetXChange at 1.50 right now. Even though he is an underdog here, all the above tells us that he has better chances than the current champ.