Tomorrow night, arguably the most anticipated UFC title fight of the year takes place. Two undefeated fighters will fight for the middleweight title. It’s the first time two undefeated fighters have fought for the title since 2009.
Israel Adesanya (19-0) and Paulo Costa (13-0) have been building to this moment for over a year. These two UFC rivals have been chomping at the bit to get after each other. They do not like each other, and they both want to hurt the other.
Paulo Costa was supposed to get the UFC title shot earlier this year. However, a bicep injury forced him to wait until now. Instead, Adesanya defended against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in a fight that left fans unimpressed.
Romero didn’t move forward, and the counter striker, Adesanya, seemed content with throwing leg kicks from the outside. We shouldn’t have that problem with Adesanya taking on Borrachinha. Costa only knows one way to move and that’s forward.
UFC President Dana White has already been saying that this fight will be the fight of the year. Two undefeated fighters who are at the top of their game. A true bull versus matador type of fight. Who will walk away as the champion?
UFC 253 Main Event Prediction
Adesanya comes into this contest having faced little adversity in his UFC career. Since joining the promotion back in 2018, Adesanya is 8-0 with really only one fight pushing him significantly and that was his interim title fight with Kelvin Gastelum.
Adesanya is an elite striker. He uses his long limbs to catch guys coming in and sniper like precision to hurt fellow fighters. He’s an extremely difficult person to prepare for. Many thought he would run into his first loss against Robert Whittaker.
Paulo Costa hasn’t faced much adversity in his UFC career as well. While he didn’t win on the Ulitmate Fighter, he’s never lost in his professional career. Costa is 5-0 with four knockouts in his UFC career. His last fight also came against Yoel Romero.
Instead of playing it safe from the outside, Costa went right into the fire with Romero. It was a very close fight, but Costa had his hand raised in the end. Costa is going to come forward with vicious hooks and get right into Adesanya’s face.
At UFC 253, I’m really torn on the result. On one hand, it’s easy to see Adesanya getting the better of Costa and just catching him every time he comes in. On the other hand, it’s easy to see Costa giving Adesanya problems with his pressure.
It’ll truly be the first time that Adesanya will have to endure the hurricane like pressure in those first couple of rounds. Costa will push forward and I think body shots could be a key strategy for Paulo Costa in this one.
I’ve gone back and forth, but I’m actually going to lean towards the upset in this one. I don’t feel great about this pick at all, but I keep seeing Costa landing something massive in the first two rounds.
Prediction: Paulo Costa by TKO – Round 2