UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa headlines the tonight’s UFC 253 pay-per-view card.
Both fighters sport undefeated records. Adesanya is 19-0 with one successful defense of the 185-pound title to his name. That defense was his March decision win over Yoel Romero. Costa is unbeaten in his 13 career professional MMA fights. Costa also defeated Romero by decision in his most recent bout.
Adesanya went five rounds opposite Romero while Costa’s bout was three rounds.
Adesanya is one of the most talented fighters to join the UFC roster in some time. The champion’s striking and technical skills have been exponentially higher than that of his previous opponents. Adesanya is more skilled in striking than Costa but Costa is a very powerful striker and that power can even things up for him.
However, I see Adesanya’s technical ability carrying him to victory.
Costa has never gone the five-round distance and his win over Romero was the first time he went the distance in his career. I think Adesanya will play a safe defensive game in the early going of this fight, hoping Costa drains his cardio early.
Adesanya’s coach, Eugene Bareman, is one of the best coaches in the game today. He’s had plenty of time to prepare a game plan for the highly skilled Adesanya. These two have come a long way together and I think they will get another victory tonight against Costa.
I believe the fight will go the distance and that Adesanya will win via decision.
UFC 253 takes place in Abu Dhabi. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN+ and ESPN2 and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.