UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has a very simple strategy for his UFC 253 title defense against Paulo Costa: hit him until he falls.
Adesanya was asked about his plans for the fight, which headlines the September 26th UFC 253 card, in an interview with SCMP MMA.
“Punch him in the face – as many times as possible,” the 31-year-old Nigerian-Kiwi said. “And kick him as well—until he falls down.”
Leading into their fight, Adesanya and Costa have traded plenty in the way of trash talk, yet Adesanya says he doesn’t feel any legitimate animosity towards his opponent.
“I don’t feel anything personal in this fight,” he said. “I don’t know the guy from a bar of soap so why would I take anything he has to say even with a grain of salt.
“You can’t fight it. You just have to accept the situation at hand and roll with it. You take control of the situation sometimes as well but mostly you just accept it and roll with it. It is what it is.”
Luckily, Adesanya doesn’t need to harbor a grudge against his foes to be motivated. He says the stakes of the matchup are more than enough to push him through his training camp.
“I just understand what’s at stake and that’s motivation enough,” he said. “[The trash talk] is all a little bit amusing but I don’t dwell too much on it. It’s all part of fighting. Ever since we were kids if people don’t like each other they talk s*** and eventually they duke it out. But while they’re talking s*** it’s all part of it. It’s all part of fighting.
“We know what to watch for with him. Other people have let the moment take over. But I’ve been in those moments many times in many fighting codes, so there will be nothing new.”
In the midst of his UFC 253 training camp, Adesanya says he’s feeling in the best shape of his life. Considering the performances he’s put forth over the course of his kickboxing and MMA careers, that certainly seems to foreshadow an impressive performance.
“It’s the best I felt, definitely,” he said. “My body has already been changing these past three weeks. Now we’re just waiting for the call. In hindsight the experience [of the lockdown] has been good for all of us. We were just living the martial arts lifestyle.”
Do you think Israel Adesanya will come out on top in his imminent fight with Paulo Costa?