Israel Adesanya warns Paulo Costa against fight week altercation: “I’ve got the gang with me”

Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has warned his next challenger Paulo Costa against any funny business ahead of their UFC 253 fight.

Adesanya and Costa, both undefeated, will collide in the main event of the UFC 253 card on September 26. Ahead of the fight the pair have exchanged seemingly endless trash talk, cultivating one of the fiercest rivalries in MMA today.

Their rivalry has become so heated that it would not be at all shocking if things get physical between their two teams in the week preceding their UFC 253 showdown.

Adesanya, however, believes it’s in Costa’s best interest to behave.

“He’s probably not going to have enough energy to do shit,” Adesanya said on Submission Radio, referencing what’s expected to be a tough weight cut down to 185 pounds for Costa. “He’ll be sucked down, dry, to the bone. He’ll probably be pretty quiet, I’m assuming, or he’ll say something and he’ll shut up. But if we run into each other, I don’t care. If he wants to throw down, we can throw down. I have my whole crew with me. I have my gang with me.

“I’ve got the gang with me,” Adesanya added. “So, if he wants to try something stupid with white glasses and fucking cringe king, whoever, bring it. My gang versus your gang. But I’d rather whoop his ass in the cage, so he better not try something stupid.”

Israel Adesanya last fought at UFC 248 in March, when he defended the UFC middleweight title with a decision victory over Yoel Romero. He captured the division’s crown in October of 2019, when he knocked out Robert Whittaker. That victory was preceded by an interim title-winning decision triumph over Kelvin Gastelum and big wins over Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori.