There was no dance routine on Israel Adesanya’s walk to the octagon, yet it was strictly business and for the first time in quite some time, the bad blood was radiating off of these two competitors as Bruce Buffer made his introductions. Behind all the hype, fight fans were able to indulge into a rivalry over the 185 pound strap. It was, strategy versus strength and behind all the trash talk, Paulo Costa the undefeated challenger suffered his first defeat in his career tonight, to the hands or better yet, the feet of the undefeated champion.
Paulo Costa, known as "The Eraser", seemingly banked on his power throughout the fight. C, was waiting to load up on a big shot that would put Adesanya out but frankly Adesanya may not have even felt Costa's best punch. While Costa continued to mock and play games with Adesanya, the champion sat back and fired 20 leg strikes in eight minutes that all landed flush on the lead leg of Costa. There was very little boxing in this fight, up until the beginning of the end for Costa, where Adesanya landed a flush head kick that opened up Costa above his right eye. Followed by a beautiful combination that ended with a left hook, dropping Costa and Adesanya went into ground and pound, until he was pulled off resulting in the second round technical knockout.
Adesanya has made it very clear that he is on his way to become one of the greatest middleweights of all time. As he chases Anderson Silva’s middleweight title defense record, Adesanya has made it clear that if Jared Cannonier can defeat number one middleweight contender, Robert Whittaker, he will have rights to a shot at the title. Interesting enough though, Whittaker will be no slouch for Cannonier, as Adesanya is the man that beat Whittaker for the championship back in 2019. A rematch with Adesanya must be on Whittaker's mind heading into his bout with Cannonier. Making the state of the middleweight division, extremely violent, highly competitive and frankly, everything Israel Adesanya wants it to be.