Things got heated between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and his next title challenger Paulo Costa on Friday morning.
Adesanya and Costa, both undefeated, will collide in the main event of UFC 253 on Saturday night. Shortly after they weighed in for their fight, they came face-to-face for a final staredown.
Costa brought his BJJ blackbelt to the staredown, and also brought a white belt for Adesanya—which unsurprisingly didn’t go over well. See the pair’s heated encounter below:
“I’ll knock your ass out!”
Listen into Adesanya & Costa’s exchange 🎤 *NSFW*
— UFC (@ufc) September 25, 2020
By bringing his black to his weigh-in staredown with Adesanya, Costa seemed to be referencing an argument they had earlier this week about their grappling credentials.
“Before I become a striker I was a grappler,” Costa said at the UFC 253 pre-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu, my brother’s gym, my coach. I have a lot of knowledge on BJJ. Yes, this fight can be on the ground also.”
“You sucked as grappler,” Adesanya responded. “Whenever he shoots, he loses his gas tank within the first or second shot.”
“Bullsh*t,” Costa said. “You’re a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. You cannot say nothing about jiu-jitsu. You’re like a kid in in jiu-jitsu. You don’t know how to do an armlock.”
“I’ll berimbolo you if I wanted to,” Adesanya replied. “I’ll grab your f*cking collar right now and put you in a bow-and-arrow.”
“You never put a gi on your skinny body,” Costa concluded. “Talk about jiu-jitsu with me. You’re crazy.”
Israel Adesanya will enter his fight with Costa 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.
Paulo Costa, meanwhile, will be fighting for the first time 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.