Israel Adesanya is looking to make up for his lackluster decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 248 with a highlight reel knockout of Paulo Costa at UFC 253 next month.
Many pundits are already hailing the bout ‘Fight of the Year’ but, the way Adesanya sees it, he will be looking to earn ‘Shutdown of the Year’ after he wipes the floor with ‘Borrachinha’ in what ‘The Last Stylebender’ feels will be his most his most spectacular performance to date.
“This is perfect,” Adesanya said of the Costa matchup (h/t MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin). “What I was expecting from my last fight is going to happen this fight. Bro, you can’t understand. In my story, you just can’t just have it going good and going great in the story. You need a dip, you need a valley when things go to sh*t, and that was me after the last fight, the performance that Yoel Romero brought. He was lackluster. I’ve never been in a boring fight in my life. I had all this criticism, justly or unjustly. That was a dip, and now this is the rise back.
“What better antagonist than this guy, who was undefeated, a KO artist, he looks the way he does, ballooned up? It’s like David and Goliath. I f*ck this guy up, and it’s spectacular. As they say: Someone’s 0 has got to go. It’s a beautifully set up story. You couldn’t write this sh*t. You could, but it’s real.”
“I think a performance of the year, shutout of the year, shutdown of the year maybe,” he said. “‘Fight of the Year?’ I’ve already had that in my back pocket, but if it happens again – I just don’t think it’s going to happen just because of the situation. You have to be smart enough to put it together. This guy gasses after the first round. We’ve got five rounds. Look at me in all my fights in the fifth round, in the fourth round, the third round, the later rounds – I’m always fresh. So, yeah, precision is going to be the key in this fight. Precision, skill and just taking him out one by one.”
Adesanya, 31, is undefeated after nineteen professional fights while Costa, 29, will look to extend his perfect 13-0 record to 14-0.
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa is scheduled to take place on Sept. 26 at a TBD location.