UFC 253 competitor Paulo Costa doesn’t care if Israel Adesanya is broken for their fight in late September. At least, that’s what Costa said during a virtual media day. He had some other things to say, too. Costa’s nickname is the Eraser, and based on what he said, it looks like he’s planning to erase Adesanya from the top spot in the division.
“If he’s [expletive] his pants for before the fight, bad for him. Too bad for him. I’m confident. I’m confident in myself, I’m confident in my training, I know what I did on sparring days. I know everything I am working for. I worked for cut his head off. I don’t care if his mind is broken or not. I don’t care. I go there. I will erase him,” Costa stated.
Their fight looks like it might be one for the ages. It’s only the second time in UFC history that two male fighters with undefeated records have contested a belt, after all. The last time it happened, it was in the light heavyweight division when Rashad Evans took on Lyoto Machida. That fight was in 2009, at UFC 98.
With that one being a decade in the past, this is our first time in a good while with a matchup of this sort. Fittingly, the fight will happen on the exotic Fight Island.
Costa not playing mind games before fight
Costa would clarify that he isn’t playing mind games with his opponent. He claimed not to care if Adesanya is “mentally broken” for the fight or not. According to Costa, he’ll get the result he’s looking for either way.
“That’s why I train so hard to not prepare for my opponent. I prepare for me, as good as I know I am now. I can fight for no weights, free weights, like the old times of Vale Tudo. That is my mindset. That’s how I feel about that,” Costa said. Vale Tudo, of course, is a Brazilian form of fighting with little rules. It’s known for its rougher and grittier feeling compared to most martial arts.
Before his last fight, against Yoel Romero, Costa had defeated every opponent with a finish. The run up to the Romero fight had five straight TKO victories, in fact. Only two fights in Costa’s career have not ended in TKO. The first was a submission victory, and the second was the unanimous decision against Romero.
Adesanya, on the other hand, is a bigger star who doesn’t have as impressive of a record in finishes since arriving in the UFC. But he’s already been tested at the highest level, unifying and defending the middleweight title.
That title will either remain in Adesanya’s hands or will find its way to a new owner later this month. But no matter who wins, the fans will be treated to a clash of two of the more entertaining fighters the UFC has in its arsenal.