UFC President Dana White recently provided an update on a long-awaited middleweight title fight between champ Israel Adesanya and challenger Paulo Costa.
Fans have been dying to see Adesanya and Costa, both undefeated, fight for middleweight gold for close to a year.
Initially, it looked like the fight might occur in late 2019. Unfortunately, that plan was derailed by a Costa bicep injury, and Adesanya accepted a title defense against Yoel Romero in March instead. The champion won that fight by decision.
With Adesanya’s win over Romero in the rear view, and Costa finally healthy, there’s seemingly no barrier to the pair being booked for a fight. Yet the fight still isn’t official.
Costa’s manager Wallid Ismail recently claimed that the delay can be attributed to Adesanya and his team.
“UFC offered Adesanya to fight on July 11 and August 15 and Adesanya declined both times,” Ismail told BJPENN.com. “His coach claims Adesanya hasn’t gotten an offer which is not true. We have proof.”
White, however, says there is no delay in terms of making the matchup official. The promotion is simply focused on other things — specifically its quartet of cards on Fight Island — and holding off on pulling the trigger on Adesanya vs. Costa.
“There’s no hold up,” White told the media assembled in Abu Dhabi, the setting of Fight Island (via MMA Mania). “We just haven’t done it yet. There’s no hold up. We’re focused on Fight Island, I’m not thinking about anything other than this right now. We have fights laid out until October, our schedule’s already made, we’re way ahead of this thing. When it’s time, we’ll announce it.”
Whenever Adesanya and Costa end up fighting, the expectation is that it will be an incredible fight. Costa’s coach Eric Albarracin, for his part, believes it will be “the greatest middleweight title fight in history.”
“Paulo Costa vs Adesanya will be the greatest middleweight title fight in history,” the Costa coach told BJPENN.com. “These two hate each other, they are at each other’s throats. When we went to UFC 243, Adesanya called him Ricky Martin, and he does look like Ricky Martin but he hits like Mike Tyson. Adesanya will not step out of the cage there, Costa will erase him.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa finally step into the cage together? Give us your prediction in the comments section down below.