UFC 253 is set to start tomorrow and features one of the most exciting fights of the year. UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will put his belt on the line against the “Eraser” Paulo Costa. This is the first time since Evans vs Machida that two undefeated fighters face off in a title fight.
Adesanya (19-0) impressed by winning the belt against Robert Whittaker. Adesanya knocked out Whittaker in the second round in a fight that he mostly dominated. But in his latest outing, he defeated Yoel Romero by unanimous decision after a lackluster fight.
Costa (13-0) on the other hand has been out of the cage for over a year. The Brazilian dealt with multiple injuries and the Covid-19 crisis didn’t help the making of this fight. The last time he stepped in the octagon, Costa was also facing Romero. He defeated the Cuban by split decision after a three rounds war that saw both fighters leave a part of them in the cage.
In the build-up to this fight, Adesanya and Costa seemed pretty hostile towards each other. Adesanya made fun of Costa for possibly using PEDs and they had a virtual altercation during an interview on Sportscenter.
More recently, the two men ran into each other at their hotel. They were pretty cordial and the video showed two light-hearted people and no sign of animosity.
But it seems that the excitement of the fight has pumped up the adrenaline levels of the fighters. During the ceremonial weigh-ins ahead of their fight tomorrow, Adesanya and Costa get into heated scuffle. Costa brought his jiu-jitsu black belt with him and handed a white belt to Adesanya in order to mock him. Adesanya snatched the belt out of his hands and threw it back at him. Both fighters squared up ready to fight and Dana White alongside some security guards made sure to keep them from fighting.
It sure seems like both men are ready to settle their rivalry and can’t wait to face each other in the octagon.