Israel Adesanya hasn’t been defeated in a MMA fight to date. But, Jack Hermansson believes that’s going to change when ‘The Last Stylebender’ faces Paulo Costa later this year.

Hermansson outlines why he’s picking Costa over Adesanya

As a result of Adesanya’s decision win over Yoel Romero in March, the plan has been for the middleweight champ to battle Costa later in 2020. More recently it was reported the UFC is close to finalizing the fight for UFC 253, which is expected to take place on September 19th.

It’s a fascinating match-up, not only because of both man’s capabilities, but because neither fighter has lost in MMA.

But, following Hermansson’s quick submission win over Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday, he relayed he thinks Costa will hand Adesanya his first defeat (quote via MMA Junkie).

“I believe Paulo Costa will be champion when I fight for the title,” Hermansson said. “He’s going to put some pressure on Adesanya.

Paulo Costa’s pressure is just insane. He’s throwing so hard with everything he’s got. He can do it for almost all of the rounds.

It’s just incredible the physique and the power that guy has. I think that’s going to be problematic for Adesanya.

But you don’t know what’s going to happen in this sport. Adesanya is a great fighter, he’s a standup wizard and it’s going to be an interesting fight.”

It’s an interesting breakdown, no question. There’s no doubt Costa is extremely durable and that he hits very, very hard.

Further, Adesanya did absorb some heavy shots in his bouts with the likes of Romero and Gastelum. So, it’s not like the dynamic striker can’t be hit.

But, Adesanya, and others, have questioned whether Costa’s game is comprehensive enough to pose a serious challenge for the champ. In other words, Costa isn’t known for takedowns, and he’s not as agile as say, Gastelum.

And what about Robert Whittaker versus Darren Till?

On account of Hermansson’s win on Saturday, he’s hoping to face the winner of next Saturday’s scrap between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. So who is ‘The Joker’ picking?

“That’s the plan,” Hermansson said. “The winner between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till, that’s the fight to make.

That’s the only thing that makes sense right now, so I’m keeping my eyes on that fight next weekend. …

I give a small edge to Whittaker in that fight, but I think it’s going to be a close fight. Both are great standup fighters, but Whittaker has been a great champ, so I think he will take it.”

It will be fascinating to see how Whittaker looks and performs, as he’ll be competing for the first time since Adesanya took him out last October.

Whittaker – Till will headline UFC Fight Island 3, which will take place in Abu Dhabi.

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