Eric Albarracin knows the stakes are high for a potential Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa matchup.
Ever since Adesanya became the UFC’s middleweight champion, it was expected his first title defense would be against Paulo Costa. Yet, the Brazilian got hurt and Adesanya ended up fighting Yoel Romero.
Since that fight, there has been no talk of when that fight will take place but according to Albarracin, he is pushing hard for the two to coach the return of The Ultimate Fighter.
“I was planning on flying to Brazil immediately after. But, they had a travel ban because of the corona crisis,” Albarracin said to BJPENN.com. “So, I’ve been in limbo waiting to go. I have to go so I can get Paulo Costa ready for Israel Adesanya so he can erase the 185-pound middleweight champ and become the new face of the UFC. But, I’ve really been pushing for The Ultimate Fighter so we can make that happen.”
When that fight or season will happen is uncertain. Captain Eric isn’t even sure if the bout will occur in 2020 but knows a fight between Adesanya and Costa needs to happen.
“It keeps changing, everything is changing. As soon as you think you know the answers, we change the questions. So, I don’t know when it is going to happen, it is in limbo but it has got to happen. The Eraser, 13-0, 12 knockouts vs. The Last Stylebender 19-0, there is no better way to promote it than The Ultimate Fighter,” he explained. “Six weeks on TUF, level 10 animosity between these guys. It will be interesting. Israel has a great mouthpiece, very witty, then you Paulo who is built like a Greek God [and] looks like Ricky Martin and hits like Mike Tyson.”
If Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa do coach TUF, Eric Albarracin believes it would be the greatest Ultimate Fighter in history. Between the fighters rivalry and his grudge with Adesanya’s coach in Eugene Bareman, the story is already there.
“The greatest Ultimate Fighter in history. There is no better way to do it then on ESPN, TUF on ESPN 1,” he said.
The hope for Eric Albarracin is he can get down to Brazil soon to train Paulo Costa ahead of his middleweight title fight against Israel Adesanya.
Do you think Paulo Costa would become the new face of the UFC if he beats Israel Adesanya?