MMA and fight fans all around the world can rejoice; Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa has been confirmed for UFC 253 on September 19. The fight has been in the offing for a long time, and has garnered considerable excitement, as it features two mainstays of the middleweight division; in Adesanya an elite kickboxer, and in Costa, a towering physical specimen.
They both currently hold perfect records, Adesanya at 19-0, and Costa at 13-0. The feud has turned personal as well, with Adesanya calling Costa an “overly inflated balloon animal”, and Costa having to be dragged out by security at Israel Adesanya’s last fight, at UFC 248.
News of the fight first broke when Combate, a Brazilian publication, leaked the details. At this point the fight was nearing confirmation behind the scenes, but the contract had not officially been signed. Dana White, the owner of the UFC, was irritated by reporting of the fight as confirmed, since it was not officially so. White, though angered, said that there was no delay, and that they just had not started the signing process yet.
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Immediately, Paulo Costa took to Twitter and said that it was confirmed on his end, and insinuated that Adesanya was avoiding the fight. Adesanya fired back with screenshots on an Instagram story, showing that it was confirmed from his end as well.
White has all but confirmed the fight, and said that it’s going to happen. According to him, the delay for the fight was only because of an injury Costa got in March.
The UFC has not currently revealed any other details for UFC 253, such as a venue, location and full card.