UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya does not expect to cross paths with Paulo Costa ever again.
Adesanya easily defeated Costa via second-round TKO in their UFC 253 grudge match last month to successfully defend his middleweight title for a second time. Although it was a very impressive performance from the champion, many were left underwhelmed given the previously undefeated Costa’s style and all the trash talk leading up to the fight.
And because of how heated things were between the pair, “The Last Stylebender” has continued to clown Costa even to this day, repeatedly referencing how he dry humped him following the fight.
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) October 14, 2020
Costa, meanwhile, has demanded a rematch and a chance for revenge, even telling Adesanya to sign a seemingly non-existent contract. But as far as Adesanya is concerned, he may not even fight Costa again.
“I don’t think I ever see him again to be honest,” Adesanya told MMA Fighting. “I think this is going to be like Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. He has to let it go.”
Adesanya: My KO Loss Taught Me A Valuable Lesson
Adesanya is no stranger to losses.
Although undefeated in mixed martial arts, he was notably knocked out by Alex Pereira during his kickboxing career with fans and fighters such as Jon Jones repeatedly posting images and video of that knockout to mock him.
But none of that concerns Adesanya as he only took it as a learning experience.
“I’ve lost a fight. I’ve been knocked out before by one of his [Costa] countrymen,” Adesanya said. “You know what the funny thing is the same guy [Pereira] that knocked me out, he’s the same guy still calling me out. So who’s really winning? You know why? Cause I don’t chase that. I don’t need it back.
“I’m like it happened, it taught me a valuable lesson in staying true to myself and true to my craft and not listening to what anyone else said. It taught me a really valuable lesson in that. So I’m grateful it happened but you don’t see me calling out the same guy. Like no, I’ve got to get it back. I don’t need it. It happened. It’s in the past.”
Even if Pereira did eventually come to the UFC, Adesanya beating him wouldn’t erase the past. And so, his advice for Costa is to simply let it go and move on.
“Even [if] I knock him out if he comes to the UFC, it’s never going to erase what happened,” Adesanya explained. “It already happened. You just have to accept it and move on, which is the advice I give Paulo. You’re never going to get this one back. If by some crazy miracle or work ethic he does come up in the rankings again, he can’t unf*ck himself, you know what I mean?
“I’ve done it to him. I’ve embarrassed him. He just has to accept it and realize ‘my mouth wrote checks my ass couldn’t cash and Israel likes to collect.’ It happened and let it go. So that’s my advice to him cause that’s what I did.”