While many fans had predicted Israel Adesanya defeating Paulo Costa, nobody knew that it would happen in the dominant, one-sided fashion that it did. Israel Adesanya took just nine minutes to pick Paulo Costa apart, landing over two dozen leg kicks before landing the finishing touch on the Brazilian title contender.
Unfortunately for Paulo Costa, it looked like a bizarre performance even though he was undefeated at 13-0 before UFC 253. Paulo Costa ran through former title contenders such as Johnny Hendricks and Yoel Romero while also putting up an impressive performance against Uriah Hall.
However, Israel Adesanya simply proved that there are levels to the game and while Costa is not bad by any stretch, he just wasn't on Israel Adesanya's level at UFC 253.
Costa took to social media to respond, vowing to return stronger than ever:
What must Paulo Costa do to establish himself as a title contender?
It's a bit odd that Paulo Costa was rushed to a title shot after fighting just two contenders from the Top 15 in Uriah Hall and Yoel Romero. While his performance against Romero was extremely convincing, fans now realize that the result of UFC 253 should have been seen from a mile away - especially since Adesanya was specific with his prediction.
Either way, it's going to be interesting to see what lies ahead for Paulo Costa. The Middleweight division is stacked with different challengers, many of whom are booked right now. But Kelvin Gastelum and Derek Brunson are two names that make the most sense.
Contenders like Jack Hermansson, Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Robert Whittaker are all booked for fights, while Chris Weidman is a low risk-low reward fight for Paulo Costa.
Will the Brazilian return to title contention?Published 28 Sep 2020, 09:45 IST