The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Fight Island this weekend for UFC 253, headlined by a mammoth Middleweight Championship showdown between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.
Event: UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa
Date: Saturday, 26th September 2020
Location: Flash Forum, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Broadcast: ESPN2, ESPN+ PPV (7pm/8pm/10pm EST)
The COVID-19 pandemic may have introduced real chaos into all of our lives, but despite all of the madness, the UFC has still been able to put on some phenomenal fight cards. That trend will continue with UFC 253 this weekend in Abu Dhabi as fans prepare to witness two high profile title fights in the UFC’s first event since returning to Fight Island.
The aforementioned Adesanya vs Costa fight will pit two undefeated fighters against one another, whereas in the UFC 253 co-main event, Dominick Reyes will go head to head with Jan Blachowicz to determine who will walk away with the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
UFC 253 Main Card – ESPN+ (10pm EST)
Middleweight Championship – Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa
Light Heavyweight Championship – Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz
Flyweight – Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval
Women’s Bantamweight – Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks
Featherweight – Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
UFC 253 Prelims – ESPN2/ESPN+ (8pm EST)
Lightweight – Brad Riddell vs. Alex Da Silva
Welterweight – Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews
Featherweight – Ludovit Klein vs. Shane Young
Light Heavyweight – Aleksa Camur vs. William Knight
UFC 253 Early Prelims – ESPN2/ESPN+ (7pm EST)
Heavyweight – Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes
Light Heavyweight – Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques
While many expect the UFC 253 main event to be pretty competitive, Adesanya himself believes that he’s going to make things look pretty easy when the two step inside the Octagon.
“I think the muscles fool everyone. The muscles and the whole flurries and fighting punching bags fool everyone,” Israel Adesanya said at media day. “Everyone thinks, wow this is a big fight. I’m like, nah. I’ve already had the fight of the middleweight division, which was Kelvin Gastelum. I’ve already had the biggest fight in the middleweight division crowd-wise, which was Robert Whittaker. I’m gonna make it look easy. A lot of people are gonna be shocked by that.”
The middleweight division is truly as good as it has ever been with a string of top contenders rising up through the ranks, and this title fight exemplifies that.