UFC: Paulo Costa says Israel Adesanya contract is signed

One of the more anticipated UFC title fight of 2020 looks like it’s getting closer to having a date. Top UFC middleweight contender, Paulo Costa (13-0), announced that the contract has been signed for his title fight against champion, Israel Adesanya (19-0).

Costa’s Rise

Paulo Costa has looked like a one man wrecking crew since he joined the UFC in 2017. Costa has gone 5-0 with four knockouts including finishes over Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall. However, it was Costa’s last fight that told the world just how good he was. “Borrachinha” went head-to-head against the middleweight division’s boogieman, Yoel Romero. Costa went right after Romero with a pace that was hard to match. Costa went right into the fire with arguably the scariest guy in the division, and he came out victorious. His performance was the polar opposite of Adesanya’s against Romero. After that fight, it was clear that Costa was the top contender in the division. However, injuries have delayed his UFC title fight.

The age of Stylebender

Since making his UFC debut back in February of 2018, Israel Adesanya has gone 8-0, looking incredibly impressive along the way. “The Last Sytlebender” reminds many of former middleweight great, Anderson Silva (who Adesanya holds a win over). Despite being undefeated, many doubted Adesanya when he fought former champion, Robert Whittaker. Adesanya put on the performance of his career stopping Whittaker in the second round of their title fight. Adesanya defended his title earlier this year against Yoel Romero in a fight that drew a ton of criticism. While Costa showed no fear in going into a fire fight with Romero, Adesanya played it safe striking from distance. There was a lack of action, and a lot of boos. Romero is the kind of fighter who waits to explode, while Adesanya is a counter-striker. It resulted in a horrific fight. However, the Adesanya/Costa fight is a matchup guaranteed to generate fireworks.

Who will be UFC middleweight king?

It’s rare that you get a title fight like this in MMA. The clear two top guys in the division, going head-to-head for the title while being undefeated. This fight has a Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier feel to it. Now, the fight has not been officially announced, but I would put my money that this fight will likely take place in October. The UFC is planning on Daniel Cormier/Stipe Miocic for their big August show while Khabib/Gaethje is tentatively scheduled for September. The likely next slot will be the October PPV. I cannot wait for this fight to come together. Costa is not the kind of guy who is going to sit back like Romero did against Adesanya, and an ultra aggressive challenger is just the kind of opponent that will allow Izzy to shine. It’s a fascinating clash of styles, and I can’t wait to see who will walk out as the undisputed middleweight king.