UFC 253 took place last weekend and was headlined by Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa. Recent reports show that the event was a complete success as far as PPV buys worldwide.
The Athletic reported an estimated 700,000 PPV buys worldwide. The card was filled with interesting fights and even featured a light heavyweight title fight in the co-main event. But the main attraction was the middleweight title fight between the champion Israel Adesanya and the Challenger Paulo Costa.
In the lead up to the fight, both fighters showed a lot of animosity towards each other and that certainly added to the anticipation of fans around the world. They even got into an altercation at the ceremonial weigh-ins and needed to be separated. But the most interesting aspect of that fight was the stylistic match up opposing Costa’s constant aggression to Adesanya’s attrition style of fighting. In the end, there wasn’t much of a fight. Israel Adesanya absolutely schooled Paulo Costa before finishing him in the second round.
Adesanya (20-0) remains undefeated and with the momentum from the win against Paulo Costa, he might go on to become the biggest star in the UFC. UFC 253 recorded the third most PPV buys of 2020 right behind UFC 251 (1.3 million buys) and UFC 246 (1 million buys). Adesanya’s performance against Costa earned him his second title defense and asserts him as a top 3 pound for pound fighter in the world.
Adesanya is on a fast track to superstardom and if his feud with Jon Jones leads anywhere, he might become the face of the UFC for years to come.