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UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa now set for September 26, additional bouts announced

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The UFC announced that a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa would now take place on September 26.

During the broadcast of this weekend’s UFC 252, the UFC announced that it’s next pay-per-view, featuring a middleweight title fight between champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Paulo Costa, was shifting from September 19 to September 26.

The event venue is TBD, but expected to be the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas. Previously UFC President Dana White had suggested that fight, which is Adesanya’s second defense since winning the belt from Robert Whittaker last October, would take place on the so-called ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi.

The last time we saw Adesanya in the Octagon was at UFC 248 in March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic brought live sports as we know it to a grinding halt. At that event Adesanya successfully defended his title versus Yoel Romero, beating the Cuban by unanimous decision. That win advanced Adesanya’s pro record to an impressive 19-0.

Adesanya’s challenger also boasts an undefeated record at 13-0. He earned his title shot at ‘Stylebender’ with wins over Romero, Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks.

In addition to naming the time, but not place, of UFC 253, the promotion also released a number of fights that had been added to the event. Here’s the list of fights announced so far:

Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa

Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval

Claudia Gadelha vs. Yan Xiaonan

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov

Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price

Mirsad Bektic vs. Eduardo Garagorri

Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Sarah Alpar

Ketlen Vieira vs. Marion Reneau

Johnny Walker vs. Ryan Spann

Jordan Espinosa vs. David Dvorak

Casey Kenny vs. Heili Alateng

Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Cyril Gane