Months of Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa throwing verbal jabs at each other exploded in March when Costa tried to jump over the guardrail and confront the victorious middleweight champion, only to be escorted out of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas by UFC security.
It escalated further last month, when Adesanya and Costa insulted each other some more during a live SportsCenter interview. The heated segment included “The Last Stylebender” calling the Brazilian fighter “dumb” yet admitting he’s “dangerous,” while Costa tweeted thereafter that “someone will die” when the two finally clash in the Octagon.
Well, that time has arrived. Adesanya will put his middleweight world title on the line against Costa to headline UFC 253 live on Saturday night. The pay-per-view event will take place at the Flash Forum on the UFC’s Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The co-main event will have Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz vying for the light heavyweight title that was recently vacated by Jon Jones.
Leading up to the main event, Adesanya views Costa as yet another proving point to continue to build his rapidly growing fighting legacy. The 31-year-old Adesanya has defeated the likes of Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero in succession since last February.
“I want to be the guy who took out everyone, so when it’s all said and done, they will be like ‘Man, he fought everybody,” Adesanya said during a recent UFC promotional clip for the event. “‘He fought everybody that he could and he’s the one. He’s a G.O.A.T.'”
Of course, Costa would like nothing more than to live up to his nickname of “The Eraser” and snatch Adesanya’s title in the process.
The confident Brazilian fighter hasn’t minced words on how he’ll hand Adesanya his first pro MMA loss.
“I will start the fight going forward,” he promised during the same UFC promo clip, “catch him and finish.”
Only one undefeated fighter will leave the Octagon with the middleweight championship in tow. Will Adesanya keep clearing out the division, or will Costa pummel the champ as he vows to do?
Here’s everything you need to know about UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa.
When is UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa?
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 26
- Early prelims: 7 p.m.
- Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
- PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET (LIVE)
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa takes place Saturday night, with the early prelims kicking the event off at 7 p.m. ET, before the pay-per-view main card begins at 10 p.m. ET. (Watch Live)
How to watch UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa TV, live stream info:
- Viewers in United States can watch UFC 253 Live On ESPN2, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ by Main card pay-per-view.
- Viewers in Canada can watch UFC 253 Live On TSN, RDS, East-link, Bell, Rogers, Telus, UFC PPV
- Viewers in Australia can watch UFC 253 Live On ESPN The early prelims (8 a.m. AEST Sunday), the prelims (10 a.m. AEST Sunday) and the PPV main card 12 p.m. AEST Sunday) in Fetch TV
- Viewers in Brazil can watch UFC 253 Live On Both the prelims (7 p.m. BRT) and main card (11 p.m. BRT) are on Combate.
- Viewers in Germany can watch UFC 253 Live On DAZN The early prelims (12:30 a.m. CEST Sunday) and prelims (2 a.m. CEST Sunday), The main card (4 a.m. CEST Sunday)
- Viewers in Ireland can watch UFC 253 Live On BT Sports 1. The early prelims (11:30 p.m. BST), the prelims (1 a.m. BST Sunday) & the main card (3 a.m. BST)
- Viewers in Italy can watch UFC 253 Live On DAZN, the global sports streaming service. The early prelims (12:30 a.m. CEST Sunday) and prelims (2 a.m. CEST Sunday) & The early prelims (12:30 a.m. CEST Sunday) and prelims (2 a.m. CEST Sunday)
- Viewers in Spain can watch UFC 253 Live On DAZN, the global sports streaming service. The early prelims (12:30 a.m. CEST Sunday) and prelims (2 a.m. CEST Sunday) & The early prelims (12:30 a.m. CEST Sunday) and The main card (4 a.m. CEST Sunday)
- Viewers in United Kingdom can watch UFC 253 Live On BT Sports 1. The early prelims (11:30 p.m. BST) are on UFC Fight Pass, the prelims (1 a.m. BST Sunday) & the main card (3 a.m. BST)
Where is UFC 253?
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa takes place at the Flash Forum on the company’s Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Neither Adesanya nor Costa have ever fought in the United Arab Emirates.
Adesanya vs. Costa odds:
According to BetMGM, Adesanya is listed as the -176 favorite, meaning you’d need to bet $176 to win $100. Costa is the underdog at +150. That means a $100 bet can net you $150 if the Brazilian fighter defeats Adesanya and is crowned the new UFC middleweight champion.
Israel Adesanya record, bio:
- Name: Israel Adesanya
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Born: July 22, 1989
- Height: 6-4
- Reach: 80 inches
- Total fights: 19
- Record: 19-0
Paulo Costa record, bio:
- Name: Paulo Costa
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Born: April 21, 1991
- Height: 6-1
- Reach: 72 inches
- Total fights: 13
- Record: 13-0
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa fight card:
- Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa for Adesanya’s middleweight title
- Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz for vacant light heavyweight title
- Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval; Flyweight
- Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks; Women’s bantamweight
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov; Featherweight
- Brad Riddell vs. Alex Da Silva; Lightweight
- Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews; Welterweight
- Shane Young vs. Ludovit Klein; Featherweight
- William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur; Light heavyweight
- Juan Espino vs.Jeff Hughes; Heavyweight
- Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques; Light heavyweight