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Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa slated for UFC 253

The UFC middleweight title will be at stake on September 19th.

UFC 248 Adesanya v Romero Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The highly anticipated middleweight showdown between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa now has a date.

Following an initial report from Combate, sources told MMA Fighting that this UFC grudge match is set for UFC 253 on September 19th in Las Vegas. Costa surely excited fans further with this tweet.

Adesanya (19-0) won the 185 lbs belt with an emphatic TKO of Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 last October. “The Last Stylebender” is known for some truly scintillating performances throughout his kickboxing and MMA career, but that was nowhere to be found when he defeated Yoel Romero in a lackluster decision victory at UFC 248, the last fight with fans in attendance before the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.

Costa (13-0) was actually supposed to be Adesanya’s first title defense, but injury led to Romero getting the shot instead. “Borrachinha” defeated Romero in a wild back-and-forth thriller at UFC 241, marking the only time he’s ever gone the distance in his career. The powerful Brazilian striker has often exchanged a war of words with Adesanya, and now we hope we get a war in the cage when those two meet just about two months from now.

No other fights have been linked to UFC 253.