As far as Paulo Costa is concerned, the rivalry with Israel Adesanya is more personal than just business. All of that can be seen through his attacks on the reigning champion over the past few months.
Costa will finally get to face Adesanya inside the UFC Octagon at UFC 253 on September 19. He already predicts a second-round knockout win, and he’s not planning to bury the hatchet even if he does so.
“Even after I knock him out, I will not shake his hand,” Costa told MMA Junkie.
“It will be wild. It will be savage. … I believe in the second round (I will knock him out) because he will run a lot in the first round.”
Based on how he’d seen Adesanya handle Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, “Borrachinha” is liking his chances.
“I will not be staying and waiting for him,” the Brazilian challenger said.. “I know he can run a lot, and that’s what he wants to do, what he usually does. I won’t wait like Romero did. I will hunt him inside the cage and close the distance and land my shots to his body and his face.
“Don’t go so fast like Whittaker and don’t go slow like Romero. Make a balance. I think I am very different from both guys because I can pressure him every minute for the 25 minutes.
“I can keep the pressure very, very aggressive against him,” Costa added. “I can push him at all times, and I have a lot of power in my hands, on my bones in my hands and kicks. Against him, I just need one shot to finish the fight.”
UFC 253 has no official venue as of this posting, but the company reportedly requested a permit from the Nevada Athletic Commission to have it take place at the APEX facility in Las Vegas.
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