On Saturday night, the UFC will return to our screens with the stacked UFC 253 card, the first of five consecutive events on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
UFC 253 will be headlined by a dynamite middleweight title fight between undefeated UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and ferocious challenger Paulo Costa, who is also unbeaten.
In addition to this Adesanya vs. Costa grudge match, UFC 253 will also feature a second championship bout as Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz collide for the vacant light heavyweight title in the co-main event.
Other highlights of the card include a clash of ranked flyweights as Kai Kara-France takes on Brandon Royval, and a battle of ranked bantamweights as Ketlen Vieira looks to get back on track after a knockout loss to Irene Aldana against former flyweight Sijara Eubanks.
On Friday morning, the fighters on the stacked UFC 253 lineup stepped onto the scales to weigh-in for battle. See the full weigh-in results for the card below (via MMA Junkie):
UFC 253 Main Card | 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view
- Champ Israel Adesanya (184) vs. Paulo Costa (185) – for middleweight title
- Jan Blachowicz (205) vs. Dominick Reyes (205) – for vacant light heavyweight title
- Kai Kara-France (126) vs. Brandon Royval (126)
- Sijara Eubanks (136) vs. Ketlen Vieira (136)
- Hakeem Dawodu (145) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (150)*
UFC 253 Main Card | 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+, ESPN2
- Alex da Silva (156) vs. Brad Riddell (156)
- Jake Matthews (170) vs. Diego Sanchez (170)
- Ludovit Klein (150)** vs. Shane Young (146)
- Aleksa Camur (206) vs. William Knight (205)
UFC 253 Main Card | 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+, ESPN2
- Juan Espino (255) vs. Jeff Hughes (258)
- Khadis Ibragimov (206) vs. Danilo Marques (206)
*Tukhugov missed the featherweight limit by 4 pounds. Hakeem Dawodu will receive a portion of his purse.
**Klein missed the featherweight limit by 4 pounds. He will forfeit a portion of his purse.
Israel Adesanya will enter the UFC 253 main event having 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. The champ is 19-0 overall.
UFC 253 will mark Paulo Costa’s first fight since since August, 2019, when he picked up his own decision victory over Yoel Romero. Other highlights of his resume include wins over Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks. Like Adesanya, he’s unbeaten, boasting a 13-0 overall record.