Engage athlete and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will face Paulo Costa at UFC 253 as per Ariel Helwani of ESPN, confirmed the report on Twitter, and said that a location is to be later announced by UFC when the fight is locked in for Sept. 19.
The crowned UFC middleweight champ holds a perfect 19 wins in 19 career fights (8-0 UFC) and won recently against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 which ended with a unanimous decision.
In the same vote, Paulo Borrachinha, with 13 wins in a row, qualified to be the best contender to fight for the belt just after winning against the Cuban, also by unanimous decision over Romero.
As Helwani noted, the two have exchanged a “war of words” since last year. Costa’s manager, Wallid Ismail, mentioned Cole Shelton of BJPenn.com that Adesanya had rejected fight offers against Costa for UFC 251 and 252.
“UFC offered Adesanya to fight on July 11 and August 15 and Adesanya declined both times,” Ismail said. His coach claims “Adesanya hasn’t gotten an offer which is not true. We have proof.”