UFC 253

It is not very often in MMA that you get a matchup like Saturday’s UFC 253 main event between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.

First, the formalities.

The bout headlines the UFC 253 pay-per-view from Fight Island on Abu Dhabi. The promotion returns to the country for the next several events.

Along with Adesanya and Costa, a new light heavyweight champion will be crowned when Dominick Reyes meets Jan Blachowicz.

The card also features several other interesting bouts including the possible retirement fight in the long and storied career of Diego Sanchez.

But that is all for another time and another place.

This is all about Adesanya and Costa.

Both fighters have competed for 19 and 13 times respectively in MMA bouts, and neither has suffered a loss. Seldom do we get to fighters at the peak of their career fighting without a loss yet. 

In fact, this is just the second time in UFC history that two undefeated male athletes will meet for the title. The first came at UFC 98 over a decade ago when Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida met for the light heavyweight title.

Breaking Down Adesanya, Costa

The 31-year-old Adesanya is 19-0 with 14 wins by knockout. That includes his 2019 title-winning performance over Robert Whittaker at uFC 243. 

Adesanya has also bested Yoel Romero to defend his belt with other UFC wins coming vs. Kelvin Gastelum, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson and three others. 

Along with his run in MMA, Adesanya is also 75-5 in 80 career kickboxing matches and also went 5-1 in six pro boxing bouts. 

His opponent, Costa, is a 29-year-old with a 13-0 record that including 11 knockouts and a submission. The Team Nogueira-trained fighter competed on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 and signed in 2017.

Each of the his past five fights have come inside the Octagon with four finishes. Costa topped Yoel Romero last year and also finished Uriah Hall and former champion Johny Hendricks.

So there you have it. Two unbeaten fighters will step inside the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 253. One will leave with both the UFC middleweight title and his perfect record still intact.

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