Israel Adesanya reposted a video by journalist Luke Thomas breaking down his game plan for the fight with Paulo Costa. The Nigerian born Kiwi defended his Middleweight title against 'The Eraser' with a Technical Knockout in the second round of the fight.
Costa was not able to follow his regular game plan of forwarding pressure against the guile and trickery of Adesanya, landing just one jab all fight. 'The Last Stylebender' took away most of Costa's weapons before dismantling him in the second round with a left hook to the temple.
Isreal Adesanya's game plan to dismantle Paulo Costa
Paulo Costa fought multiple southpaws (Johny Hendricks, Yoel Romero) on his way to the UFC 253 headliner against Adesanya. The Brazilian does a particularly good job cutting the cage against Southpaws, using his lead jab and round kick to the body to line them up against the fence.
Once on the fence, Costa uses his boxing to attack the head and the body, for his opponents to crumble under the pressure. But Israel Adesanya negated his jab early in the first round by using the calf kick and exiting on Costa's left before he could cut the cage.
Costa started biting on Adesanya's hip feints and hand feints, unable to close the distance to land strikes on his opponents. Despite being a good boxer, Costa is not an adept counter-striker and is used to being the first to attack.
By the end of the first round, Israel Adesanya had negated Costa's jab by chopping off his lead leg (which is integral for the jab). The one or two occasions when the Brazilian managed to get Adesanya to the cage, the Kiwi used his movement to take the fight to the center of the cage.
In the second round, the Middleweight Champion had found his range and was stinging Costa with jabs which were now complimenting the low kicks. The former Glory kick-boxer also kept switching his stance to catch kicks and fire back at Costa.
Israel Adesanya used the pullback left hook to finish the bout, the same one he had used to defeat former Champion, Robert Whittaker. As eluded to by the Stylebender, City Kickboxing managed to find the perfect game plan to negate Costa's strengths and exploit holes in his game.Published 04 Oct 2020, 14:02 IST