Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was a recent guest on Submission Radio to promote his upcoming bout with Paulo Cossta.

The two were also on ESPN’s SportsCenter and Adesanya addressed an off-camera incident.

Check out the complete transcription and the full interview below:

On the cage size never being an issue for Israel against Paulo Costa

“Fuck no.”

“Some people are so dumb. Put it this way, the kickboxing ring in Glory is way smaller than the smallest octagon the UFC has, and I fought a world-class guy who does what? Throws body shots, walks you down and throws legs kicks, same style as Paulo. I fought him in that and was able to use footwork to be able to dance around him and stick him. And the ring as well, the kickboxing ring has corners that are easier to trap you in. People say, ‘oh, the small cage is better for it’. I’m like, no, look at what I did in a small cage the last time I fought in a small cage. I toyed with the guy for five rounds, and there was a beautiful display of technique, skill, footwork, grappling, everything. So, I don’t know what people… I think it’s just the casuals. The casuals are the one’s that are like, fuck, it needs to be in Vegas so he can’t run. Like, bitch, I’ll dance circles around him and stick him at the same time till he bleeds to death.”

On Paulo being good at his style of fighting

“He’s good at what he does. Like, he’s very imposing, he’s got a size on him and he marches people down and just beats them up against the fence. That’s his game. But, oh fuck, it’s such a clique to say before every fucking fight, ‘oh, he’s never faced anyone like me’. But he hasn’t faced anyone like me. Like, he’s only beat two guys that are ranked. I’ve beat like four or five guys that are ranked. Even six maybe. Fucken, I lost count.”

On Costa getting where he got with good basics and luck

“I just think he’s gotten so far to where he is with good basics and a little bit of luck. But we all have that in our lives, put it that way.”

On the infamous interview which kicked off their rivalry and Paulo acting differently when the cameras are off

“Backstage when I finally came to, I was doing an interview with Brett and he came to do his interview with Brett, but he was like six feet away from me. And I’m looking at him the whole time talking to Brett. And he wouldn’t look me in the eye. He just was looking at the wall, finding any reason to avoid, knowing who the fuck I am, knowing I just whooped ass that night before him. And even when I was talking shit about him, he would just look at the wall and just ignore me. He likes to act tough when there’s people there and there’s cameras there, but if me and him run into an elevator, I guarantee you he’ll face the other way or he wouldn’t say anything in the elevator. Like, it’s just coz there’s people around and there’s cameras and he wants the hoopla. I don’t want to say too much, but there’s people that can’t talk about how I’ve checked them. Even that Italian, he knows. Last time he saw me in Vegas when there were no cameras around and he came – yeah. I’ve said too much. Don’t worry.”

On their first time going back and forth on ESPN Sportcentre

What, him trying to flash the camera with his bitch tits?”

“Fuck, I didn’t like the way they cut that at the end. Cause they ended the interview and I left because the interview was over, not like I just packed up and left. Cause I was like, wait, they edited that wrongly. They didn’t show the bit where the presenter was signing off, and then they cut to me and him talking shit, and I was like, right, I’m not going to argue with this dumb ass all day, peace, love you, whatever I said.”

“It was all good. I think I’m under his skin already. Not really think, I know I’m under his skin already. I kind of wish this was, what do you call it, BC, before corona. I wish it was BC, because that way it would be a press conference around different countries or different cities, and I could see him face to face and I could actually give him shit and really dig under his skin. But he’s very easy to get under his skin.”

On asking Paulo Costa Off-Camera about his USADA tests before the ESPN interview began

“Even before the interview kicked off, when I saw him initially, I asked him a few questions that he couldn’t really give me a straight answer to.”

“[I asked him about] The last time he got tested.”

“He couldn’t give me a straight answer, put it that way. And I told him, I got tested twice in the last three weeks. Twice in the last three weeks I got tested. At night, cause they tried to catch me off guard. So, it was the first time they ever tested me at night. So, where’s your t-shirt? I’ve been tested over 30 times, but where’s your t-shirt? I know what it’s like. I’m from Lagos City, Nigeria. I know what it’s like in certain countries where money talks. Where if you flash your gun, people act a certain way. I know what it’s like. You’ve heard stories about Brazil with people running up to gyms to test people and then they’re not compliant of certain things. But yeah, I just know what it’s like. But I don’t mind. I just like bringing that up cause I want it to be known, cause I said on record, I’m gonna pop him before USADA pops him. So, I’m gonna beat him. And then when he gets popped by USADA down the line, I’ll be like, yup, I still whooped his ass even when he was on steroids. That would make a great story.”

On who he thinks he’ll fight after Costa

“I hope Cannonier beats Robert, cause I want a new body. Jack Hermansson, I don’t really mind too much. But I’d like Darren to get that one done, but he didn’t really get it done against Robert. It was a good fight, close fight, but I think maybe the takedowns gave it to Robert. Who knows. But yeah, the Jack Hermansson and Darren Till fight, I don’t really mind. But Cannonier, I hope Cannonier whoops his ass, so I can… I want to fight that guy, I like him. Same with Darren. But also Jack Hermansson I’d like to fight, but I really want to fight Darren one day in the O2 or in Wimbledon. That would be a good excuse to go to England. Go sip some tea and crumpets.”

If Darren still DM’s Israel

“No, we haven’t talked in a little bit, but we’re cool. I mean, we know the game. Like, Darren’s a guy, I’m not gonna act like we got beef, when it’s time to fight I will fucking embarrass him. Yeah. But right now, he’s cool and I’m cool. We’re cool. Yeah.”

On this Costa fight being what the Romero fight should have been

“It’s what the last fight should’ve been. I wanted a mean, scary dude who looks the part, that all these casuals that are influenced by Hollywood and believe what a bad motherfucker’s supposed to look like, which is this juiced up perfect antagonist. And the last fight, unfortunately the antagonist didn’t antagonize, he just stood there. So, it didn’t really end up the way I wanted it. This fight is gonna be that, because this guy’s gonna antagonize, and he looks the part. Like I said, it’s the perfect Hollywood movie. It’s David and Goliath story. This kid who’s still a dweeb with pink hair.”

“It’s what the last fight should have been, and it’s going to push me into the next level of a stratosphere, the way I finish this guy. Cause I’m telling you, I had plans for the last fight. I really… I put my money where my mouth is, put it that way – allegedly. But things happened, things happened, and this fight is gonna be what I expected it to be. I’ve never been in a boring fight in my life. That was my first one and last one. So, this fight I’m gonna pick up where I left off. I needed a dip in my story, and that was the dip in my story. So, now we move on, on and on.”

Warning Costa not to pull anything stupid during the UFC 253 fight week

“He’s not going to have enough energy to do shit. He’ll be sucked out, dry to the bone. He’ll probably be pretty quiet, I’m assuming. Or he’ll say something and then shut up. But if we run into each other, I don’t care if he wants to throw down, we can throw down. I have my whole crew with me. I’ll have the gang gang with me”

“You don’t understand. I’ve got the gang with me. So, if he wants to try something stupid with white glasses and fucking cringe King whoever, bring it. My gang versus your gang. But I’d rather whoop his ass in the cage. So, he better not try something stupid.”

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