As we inch closer to this weekend's blockbuster UFC 253 pay-per-view, the spotlight shines brightly on two men - Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa. The headliner of UFC 253 features an epic middleweight title fight between reigning champion Israel Adesanya and top contender Paulo Costa.
Heading into the fight, BJPENN.com caught up with several pro-fighters to provide their take on who is likely to end up on top in what is set to be an intriguing matchup. Majority of the fighters believe it is Adesanya's prolific striking skills that will previl against Costa's brute strength and knockout power.
Check out the predictions for the main event of UFC 253 below.
Randy Costa, UFC bantamweight: I think Izzy will put on a clinic. Paulo Costa is tough and has a nice physique, but you have a guy in Adesanya who is a sniper. He will turn Paulo Costa’s head into a Pez dispenser just jabbing his head back. I’m not sure if he will be able to finish because Adesanya doesn’t hit that hard but he is precise. I can’t pick against Izzy.
Tyson Nam, UFC flyweight: If Costa doesn’t knock him out in the first I think Izzy. Adesanya is too technical and will defend his belt.
Andre Ewell, UFC bantamweight: I am going to go with Adesanya. However, Costa can easily end it with one punch. If he gets the knockout I wouldn’t be surprised, but I see Adesanya.
Steven Peterson, UFC featherweight: We’ve all been looking forward to this matchup for a long time. Israel Adesanya is one of the most skillful and entraining champions in a long time. Paulo Costa is an undefeated powerhouse and has been demolishing his opponents. Izzy needs to fight an almost perfect fight. He needs to stick and move and pick apart Costa. On the other side, Paulo only needs to land one and with the power and skill he has, I have to go with him. I predict a shocking fist round KO by Costa.
Frank Camacho, UFC lightweight: I love the way Costa fights and I think he can land the knockout punch.
Kyle Nelson, UFC featherweight: Adesanya has the fight IQ to win this fight. I think he will be able to piece up Costa, avoid the power shots, and get Costa tired. I see Adesanya winning by third or fourth-round TKO.
Clay Collard, former UFC featherweight: Israel will piece up Paulo to defend his belt.
Zak Cummings, UFC middleweight: I want to say Adesanya as I am not on the Costa hype train yet. I was impressed with him against Romero and I can see him starching Adesanya. If he is going to win it will have to be early. I just think Adesanya is too smart and he will find a way to win by avoiding the power and eventually just picking Costa apart.
Brandon Royval, UFC flyweight: That is a really good fight and a tough one. I’ll say Adesanya but man Costa could knock him out. On paper, it looks like a good matchup for Izzy but man, Costa hits so hard.
Yorgan De Castro, UFC heavyweight: I have to go with the champ in Adesanya. Costa will come forward and throw bombs and has a chance. But, I think Adesanya is better.Published 23 Sep 2020, 23:34 IST