Paulo Costa blames wine and lack of sleep for UFC 253 loss

We are a few months removed from UFC 253. That night, the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), took on the previously unbeaten challenger, Paulo Costa (13-1). The fight was one of the more anticipated matchups of 2020.

However, the fight failed to live up to the hype mainly due to the challenger. While Adesanya was brilliant in scoring the knockout win at UFC 253, Costa fought extremely flat. He didn’t land anything significant before Adesanya landed the finishing blows.

It was such an odd performance from Paulo Costa. Prior to that loss, Costa was always known as someone who pushes forward with a ridiculous pace. However, at UFC 253, Costa was stuck on the outside and he didn’t push forward at all.

This left a lot of fans scratching their heads. Costa is currently prepping for his next matchup against Robert Whittaker. Their fight takes place in April and the winner is likely going to get another crack at the UFC middleweight champion.

Costa has broken his silence about his last performance. Over the weekend, Costa took to his YouTube page to talk about the loss. In all honesty, I was a little surprised to hear what he had to say and what he attributes the loss to.

UFC 253 sabotaged by a hangover?

On the UFC 253 loss, Costa said, “I was kind of drunk when I fought, maybe hungover. I couldn’t sleep because of leg cramps. The UFC told us to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to the arena to fight. I hadn’t slept until 2:30.”

“It was my mistake and I don’t blame anyone else, it was something I chose [to do], but, in order to try to sleep, because I had to sleep since I was awake for 24 hours, I had wine, too much wine, a bottle to try to black out. I had a glass and didn’t work. Two glasses, it didn’t work. Half bottle, didn’t work. I had it all.”

Clearly, it doesn’t sound like the condition were ideal for Costa. However, it’s not like his experience on Fight Island was unique. All of the fighters had to go through the same issues when they were fighting in Abu Dhabi.

Now, maybe there were more factors at play here. Perhaps the nerves of the moment caused Costa to be anxious which prevented him from sleeping. There are a number of question marks, but it was clear that we didn’t see the usual Costa back in September.

When he steps into the cage next, he needs to prove to the UFC and himself that the last fight was a fluke. Costa must show the world that he’s still the Paulo Costa we thought he was if he wants any chance at a rematch with Israel Adesanya.

UFC: Jan Blachowicz calls for fight with Israel Adesanya

Corey Anderson

The UFC‘s light heavyweight champion has his eyes set on his next opponent. Last month, Jan Blachowicz became the light heavyweight champion of the world when he knocked out Dominick Reyes to cap off an incredible run at UFC 253.

The UFC‘s Polish Power has stormed through his last four opponents on his way to capturing the title. Later that evening, Israel Adesanya put on arguably the best performance of his career when he retained his middleweight crown against Paulo Costa.

Since then, there hasn’t been a ton of specific talk about what’s next for Adesanya or Blachowicz. Dana White said last week that it made sense for Adesanya to fight Robert Whittaker again for the UFC middleweight championship.

However, Adesanya and his camp don’t seem very interested in the matchup. They are looking for a new challenge and that challenge could come in the form of the UFC light heavyweight champion.

Adesanya’s coach did say that the champion’s next fight could come at light heavyweight. This is something that Blachowicz seems interested in. The light heavyweight champ took to Twitter to callout Adesanya for a fight in March.

Will the UFC make it happen?

This would be such an interesting matchup for the UFC to make. On one hand, it would give them a chance to make Adesanya an even bigger star than he already is. Adesanya as a two-division world champion would blow up.

However, it wouldn’t be an easy fight for Adesanya. On paper, Adesanya should pick apart the light heavyweight champion, Blachowicz. Blachowicz would definitely be the slower fighter, however, his power is not to be ignored.

When he hits guys, they just seem to completely change. Many, including myself, thought he would be outgunned against Dominick Reyes. I thought the fluidity of Reyes would give him issues, but Blachowicz’s power just took over at UFC 253.

If Adesanya were to move up and win the UFC light heavyweight title, it could make the potential Jon Jones fight even bigger. Imagine Jones challenging Adesanya for the light heavyweight championship. Or maybe the two-division champion, Adesanya, would want to fight Jones at heavyweight.

However, I would strongly suggest that nobody overlook Blachowicz if this fight was to happen. Adesanya would be the clear favorite, but Blachowicz has power that can change any fight on a dime.

UFC Matchmaker: Jared Cannonier – Paulo Costa

This past weekend at UFC 254, Jared Cannonier (13-5) had his chance to cement his status as the number one contender in the middleweight division. He took on former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker in the UFC 254 co-main event.

Cannonier had a couple of bright spots in the fight. He hurt Whittaker early with leg kicks, and wobbled Whittaker in the final minute of the fight. However, outside of those, it was a clear win for the former UFC champion.

Whittaker almost finished Cannonier early on in the third round with a headkick. The loss was the first loss for Cannonier since he dropped down to the middleweight division. Cannonier had been called out by UFC champion, Israel Adesanya, before the loss.

Now that Cannonier has suffered the loss, it’s back to the drawing board for the Killa Gorilla. In looking around at the rest of the middleweight division, I think there is a clear next step for the UFC. I think that the promotion should book Jared Cannonier – Paulo Costa (13-1).

Will the UFC make it happen?

This is the fight that just makes too much sense. Costa is coming off of a title loss to Adesanya at UFC 253. Prior to that loss, he was looked at as arguably the most terrifying contender in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

Cannonier just fought the former champion when he carried in a similar reputation. Both men lost in their big opportunities. The quickest way to have one of them re-establish their credibility in the division is to have one fight the other.

This would be a fantastic matchup for the UFC to make. The promotion is likely going to book the Adesanya – Whittaker rematch, and they could put this fight as the co-main event. The winner would re-establish themselves as the top contender in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

UFC: Israel Adesanya’s next fight could come at light heavyweight

The UFC‘s middleweight king could be jumping up in weight for his next contest. Israel Adesanya (20-0) has been talking to his coaches about a potential move up to light heavyweight this year. The middleweight champion is coming off of a dominant win at UFC 253.

Of course, fans would immediately jump to the conclusion that he would be fighting Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones and Adesanya have been going back and forth for a while over social media. Dana White recently said that it’s the fight to make.

However, Adesanya has always been a fighter that has followed the lead and instructions of his coaches. Adesanya’s head coach, Eugene Bareman, was recently interviewed on Submission Radio discussing what is next for the UFC‘s middleweight champion.

The first choice for his next fight is top middleweight contender Jared Cannonier. “If Cannonier didn’t want to turn around and fight, then Israel would definitely fight at 205,” Bareman said. “We’ve already had a little chat about that. He would be perfectly willing to do that. So much is just dependent on those results in the middleweight division”

What’s next in the UFC for Adesanya?

Adesanya has been very vocal about his timeline to fight Jon Jones. He wants to fight the UFC‘s pound for pound king, but he wants to do it on his own time. The UFC‘s middleweight champion and his team seem to be more interested in defending the UFC middleweight title next.

As Bareman, said, if Adesanya can’t defend the title soon, he would move up. However, I’m not convinced that moving up would translate to a Jon Jones fight. Perhaps Adesanya would move up just to test the waters the way Anderson Silva did at light heavyweight.

As Dana White said, the fight to make is Israel Adesanya – Jon Jones. However, I just don’t know if that’s what we are going to get next. Many people have pointed to the fact that the UFC should try to make this the new headliner for UFC 256. 

However, given how Adesanya and his team treats his career, my guess is that they’d want more time to prepare for the challenge that is Jon Jones. While Adesanya mocks Jones constantly, you have to believe he understands the threat of a Jon Jones fight. Adesanya might fight at light heavyweight next, but it still might not be Jon Jones.

UFC: Israel Adesanya wants a quick turnaround

Coming off his domination at UFC 253, you would think Israel Adesanya (20-0) would want to just relax and soak in the victory. However, the middleweight champion already has his eyes set on the next challenge, and he doesn’t want to wait.

The UFC’s middleweight king is ready to fight. He doesn’t want to wait and his team is already talking to the UFC about his next potential fight. Adesanya went into detail on the talks with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani yesterday.

At first, Helwani suggested March or April for Adesanya’s next fight which was met with raised eyebrows from the UFC champ. Adesanya responded saying, “I’m fresh. I want to fight fast. I want to fight this year. We talked about it and I want to fight again this year. I ain’t f–ckin’ around Ariel.”

Next UFC opponent for Adesanya

The next logical step for Adesanya would be defending his UFC title against the winner of Jared Cannonier – Robert Whittaker. Those two fight at UFC 254 and the winner of that fight will be looked at as the clear number one contender in the middleweight division.

Adesanya said that he wanted to fight Cannonier after his victory at UFC 253. Of course, Cannonier has a tough test in front of him in the former UFC middleweight champion, Whittaker. Adesanya knocked Whittaker out in the second round when they fought to capture the title.

If Whittaker were to beat Cannonier, I wonder if Adesanya would want to do the rematch. His first victory over Whittaker at UFC 243 was very dominant. He might not be as interested in a rematch considering the way the first fight went.

Of course, there’s always the potential for the Jon Jones fight. However, I don’t see that fight materializing before the end of the year. In my opinion, the potential Jones – Adesanya fight would probably take place sometime in the middle of 2021.

There are a number of exciting options for the UFC‘s middleweight champion. He could also pull an Anderson Silva and move up to light heavyweight just to try it out. Either way, the last stylebender is planning on another fight in 2020.

UFC: Jon Jones opens as sizable favorite over Israel Adesanya

UFC, Jon Jones

This past weekend at UFC 253, Israel Adesanya (20-0) put on the performance of his career when he successfully defended his title against Paulo Costa (13-1). One of the more active voices on Twitter during the fight was pound for pound great, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Jones and Adesanya have gone back and forth through the media for sometime now. The two UFC champions do not like each other and have long talked about a potential fight between the two. I personally think it’s the fight for the UFC to make.

While the fight is the fight that UFC fans want to see, Adesanya has cautioned that he wanted to clean out the middleweight division first. Of course, Jones has pointed this out saying that Adesanya didn’t have the courage to step into the cage with him.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion is currently preparing for his move to heavyweight. However, he would of course drop back down to light heavyweight to take on the UFC‘s middleweight champion, Adesanya. Jones said that he would literally tear one of Adesanya’s arms off.

Betting odds for the potential UFC super fight

Yesterday, Bovada released betting odds on the potential matchup between the two fighters. The former UFC light heavyweight champion opened as a massive favorite over Israel Adesanya. Jones was a -375 favorite. The odds give Jones about a 79% chance of defeating Adesanya.

It would be a fascinating fight to watch for UFC fans. Adesanya is probably the best pure striker in the UFC, however, he’s never fought someone with the range of Jon Jones. Jones also probably has the best striking defense out of anyone Adesanya has faced in the UFC.

Despite these things, I don’t think Jones would entertain standing with Adesanya. Jones said in an interview with Ariel Helwani that he would fully plan on taking Adesanya to the ground and beating him up.

It’s hard to predict the fight without it actually being booked, but I tend to agree with the odds the way they are currently. I do think Jones would be able to get Adesanya down, and if he did that, it would be a nightmare for Adesanya to get up. However, if it stays standing, Jones could have his hands full especially with leg kicks.

Who is the greatest middleweight in UFC history?

This past weekend at UFC 253, Israel Adesanya (20-0) put on a show. Facing his toughest test to date in Paulo Costa (13-1), Adesanya put on the performance of his career stopping Costa in the second round. He proved he’s the best middleweight in the world.

Adesanya has become a superstar for the UFC. Whether it be the way he talks, his dancing, or his incredible slick striking skills, Adesanya wows fight fans. However, after Saturday evening, I was seeing a little bit of being a victim of the moment.

There were some members of the MMA media and the UFC Twitter mob that were already declaring Adesanya the greatest middleweight in UFC history. Stylebender is clearly the best in the world now, but I think that people need to pump the breaks just a little.

Yes, Adesanya is perfect at 20-0, but he just defended his UFC title for the second time. Remember, he just became champion in October. He’s not even one year into his title reign, and some are already declaring him the GOAT.

There is no questioning the talent and the skill of Israel Adesanya. He very well might be the greatest middleweight to have ever stepped foot in the UFC. However, declaring him the GOAT at this point is wrong. To me, he’s not even in the conversation with the actual GOAT of the middleweight division yet.

One of the UFC’s Best of All Time

There is only one GOAT at middleweight and his name is Anderson Silva (34-10, 1 NC). Before Adesanya fans immediately try to argue, I will warn you that there is no argument when it comes to their resumes inside the UFC.

Yes, I understand that Silva has really fallen on rough times, but you have to remember, he’s far past his prime. When he was in his prime, Silva dominated the UFC like only Jon Jones has dominated the UFC.

Silva outclassed every opponent on his way to winning his first 16 UFC fights. A winning streak that still hasn’t been matched in the promotions history. Silva won the middleweight crown back at UFC 64 and successfully defended the title 11 times before falling in 2013.

Silva’s unbeaten reign inside the UFC spanned seven years. If he would have retired after he defeated Stephan Bonnar, he would still be considered to be the greatest to ever do it. Of course, things derailed for Silva starting at UFC 162.

Like all great champions, Silva was never the same as he exited his prime. However, it’s still impressive that Silva can compete at his age. In fact, he looked pretty good in February of 2019 when he fought to a decision with Adesanya.

Yes, Silva lost the fight, but at 43 years old, Silva was able to keep the fight close, and he won a round. Adesanya is the best in the world right now, but he still has a ways to go in my eyes before he can be declared the greatest middleweight in UFC history. That’s still belongs to the Spider.

UFC: Jon Jones – Israel Adesanya needs to happen in 2021

UFC, Jon Jones

This past Saturday at UFC 253, Israel Adesanya (20-0) put on arguably the best performance of his career against Paulo Costa (13-1). Costa was looked at as Adesanya’s most dangerous challenger, and the champion made it look easy.

It was Adesanya’s second successful defense of his UFC middleweight crown. Of course, one of the more active voices on Twitter during UFC 253 was former UFC light heavyweight champion and current pound for pound #1, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

It is no secret that Jones and Adesanya do not like each other. Both men have gone back in forth over the past year, and a potential fight between the two men has been something that’s been discussed for a while.

With the way that things currently stand, the UFC needs to attempt to book this fight in 2021. Adesanya will likely defend his title one more time in early 2021 against the winner of Robert Whittaker – Jared Cannonier, but after that, the Jones fight is what needs to be made.

A rare chance for the UFC

In the UFC, opportunities like this don’t come along very often. It’s very rare that you have two dominant champions who might be the two best pound for pound fighters in the world and have the opportunity to fight each other.

Not too long ago, Anderson Silva was considered to be the GOAT in the UFC. He held the position that Jon Jones is currently in. For years, fans called for the UFC to book Silva against Georges St. Pierre and/or Jon Jones during Silva’s title reign.

Both fights would have given us as fans the chance to see who really was the best. However, the UFC was never able to make it happen before Silva lost his title. Still to this day, I wish we could have seen one of those fights happen.

However, this fight would be much different for the UFC. While it would let us really see who’s the best, it’s a fight that would have a ton of heat behind it. All of the factors that go into making a massive fight are there with Adesanya and Jones.

Two essentially undefeated and dominant champions who can’t stand the other. There would be no bigger fight that the UFC could put together in 2021. Of course, Jones has said he’s moving to heavyweight and Adesanya’s still got business to attend to, but the promotion should do what they can to make it happen next year.

What happened to Paulo Costa at UFC 253?

Prior to UFC 253, Paulo Costa was known as the most terrifying force in the middleweight division. Undefeated and looked to be chiseled out of rock, Costa would push forward against all opponents with a pace and pressure that most couldn’t withstand.

The UFC‘s top middleweight contender was thought to be the one middleweight who could give Israel Adesanya some problems. The thought was that Costa’s style and pressure could disrupt the brilliant distance controlled striking from the champion Adesanya.

UFC President Dana White was building up this fight all summer, and he was calling it a fight of the year candidate. It was supposed to be a true bull versus matador matchup at UFC 253. However, the actual result was anything but what the build up said it would be.

Everyone expected Costa to push forward like he always does, but he appeared to be frozen in time. On the outside mocking Adesanya, but getting lit up in the process. The lack of aggression and playing into Adesanya’s hands led to him getting knocked out in the second round.

I will be the first to admit that I bought into the Paulo Costa UFC hype. Costa looked to be a monster, and I thought his pressure and ability to mix up his shots would give Adesanya problems. Myself and many others were dead wrong. So what happened?

What went wrong at UFC 253

As mentioned, Costa has a style that relies on breaking his opponents with his pressure. As fighters try to get away from the hurricane force he brings, he normally catches his opponents. That’s how he earned a perfect record prior to UFC 253.

Something was wrong as soon as the fight started on Saturday night. Costa came out extremely relaxed with virtually no sense of urgency. This wasn’t the Paulo Costa that UFC fans have come to know over the last few years. It was puzzling watching it unfold live.

Adesanya started working vicious leg kicks early and Costa did nothing. Costa threw a few good kicks throughout, but it was all Adesanya. Costa was finished with a flurry and suffered the first lost of his professional and UFC career.

I think the five round factor really freaked Costa out. Costa almost lost his last fight against Yoel Romero because he gassed out after his quick start. Costa was beating Romero up, but as the fight went on, Costa began to really fade.

I think there was a serious worry that if he faded badly at UFC 253 he would get finished. I think Costa didn’t believe that Adesanya could finish him with strikes while he wasn’t tired. This assumption proved to cost Costa dearly.

Now, Costa will have to go back to the drawing board. I suggested a potential fight with Derek Brunson next to try to get him back on track. Costa will be back, and he’s way too talented to not get another shot one day. However, on Saturday night, it was proven that Costa was not in the same league as Israel Adesanya.

State of the light heavyweight division after UFC 253

Corey Anderson

This past weekend at UFC 253, a new light heavyweight champion was crowned. This was the first light heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier since 2011. The new UFC light heavyweight king has some serious Polish Power.

Jan Blachowicz (27-8) completely dominated Dominick Reyes (12-2) this past Saturday to claim the UFC light heavyweight title. Blachowicz has gone through a career resurgence since 2017 that has seen him go 8-1 on his way to capturing UFC gold.

It was clear from the very beginning of the fight that Blachowicz had an advantage. His power took Reyes by surprise, and as a result, Reyes seemed extremely gun shy. In the second round, Blachowicz landed a massive flurry that finished the fight.

Blachowicz became the first male UFC champion from Poland. He became just the second Polish champion in history alongside Joanna Jedrzejczyk. So after UFC 253, where do we go from here and what is the status of the light heavyweight division?

What’s next after UFC 253?

There are going to be two storylines to follow in the coming weeks when it comes to the light heavyweight division. The first and most obvious storyline is the UFC‘s pound for pound best fighter in the world, Jon Jones.

After years of reigning over the division, Jones vacated his UFC light heavyweight title. Jones seemed more interested in moving to heavyweight, although he did tease a potential return to the division on Saturday night after Blachowicz won the title.

At the moment, I think Jones is going to stay on course to fight at heavyweight, but who knows. Assuming Jones doesn’t return, all eyes will shift to the November contest between Glover Teixiera and Thiago Santos. The winner of that fight will be first in line to face the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

Another name to keep your eyes on is Anthony “Rumble Johnson. Johnson has re-entered the USADA testing pool and is planning on competing in the first half of 2021. Rumble is known as one of the most feared knockout artist in UFC light heavyweight history.

Dominick Reyes will need to regroup after his second straight UFC loss, but there are a few other top contenders in the division. Jiri Prochazka and Aleksandar Rakic are two names to keep your eyes on. Exciting times in a new and fluid UFC light heavyweight division.