Paulo Costa thinks Israel Adesanya has adopted a ‘loser’s mentality’ ahead of their highly anticipated middleweight title bout at UFC 253 next month.
The two have been at each other’s throats for months, but tensions recently escalated when ‘The Last Stylebender’ warned ‘Borrachinha’ about a possible ‘gang versus gang’ situation if the undefeated middleweight contender tries any funny business during fight week.
Costa laughed off Adesanya’s comments and said the middleweight champ’s behaviour is a sign that he’s deeply uncomfortable and nervous ahead of UFC 253.
“He’s acting like someone that’s been bothered, someone that’s uncomfortable,” Costa told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz in a recent interview. “The worst thing that can happen to a fighter, especially one that has the belt, is to get uncomfortable. His actions, the way he thinks, he even said… He got to the point of asking me not to do any trolling or anything stupid thing with my gang during fight week.”
“The so-called gang he’s referring to is me, Eric Albarracin and (Henry) Cejudo,” he said. “That shows how he is. It’s a huge joke. He’s afraid of Albarracin, Cejudo and I doing something to him, he said he was prepared with his gang, too. First of all, there’s no such thing as a gang. And second, if I had to have any gang I wouldn’t do it with Albarracin and Cejudo, who are 5-foot-4.”
Costa believes Adesanya will only get ‘more scared’ as the fight gets closer and claims the Nigerian-New Zealander is already a beaten man.
“Anything can happen. Anything can happen, but he tends to… Someone who has fear, someone who has afraid, tends to gets even more scared,” Costa said. “Like he did against (Yoel) Romero, just waiting there, letting time to go by. I don’t know. But the reality is, I don’t care. You’re talking a lot about Adesanya, but the truth is I don’t care. I don’t care what he’s going to do, I don’t care what he’s going to think. That doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is me and my training. What really matters for me to win is myself being well, you know?
“Thinking about your opponent is a loser’s mentality, that’s something people do when they lack confidence and have issues with themselves. I don’t worry about him. I don’t care how he comes, I just worry about myself. I always focus on my training. When I’m in my best, no one can stop me. It doesn’t matter what he does. He’s showing signs that he’s uncomfortable, let’s put it this way so I don’t use bad words here, but I don’t care. I’m focused on myself. I have a champion’s mindset and that’s going to happen soon.”
The Brazilian knockout artist went on to state that their headlining title bout at UFC 253 will be contested between ‘a runner’ (Adesanya) and a ‘real man’ (Costa).
“I’m more technical than him,” Costa said. “I have more qualities than him, but people think whatever they want, right? People follow what the media says. People sometimes get influenced by what journalists says, and they really don’t know what they are talking about and that end up creating a wrong narrative, but what happens in the fight is what matters the most and that’s when people will know who’s who.
“I’d say it’s a fight between someone who’s scared to fight, a runner, against a real man, someone who goes for the fight and for the knockout instead of run around trying to win by points, avoiding the fight. I’m the one that goes for a fight, who makes the fight happen.”
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa will take place next month, Sept. 26 at a to be determined location.