UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on September 27, 2020 | Last updated on September 27, 2020 at 09.08 am
UFC 253 live, Adesanya

(Image credit: @atiku/Twitter)

The 31-year-old Nigeria-born New Zealander has extended his unbeaten run to 20-0, with 15 knockout wins.

Israel Adesanya floored Paulo Costa to retain the middleweight championship in the UFC 253 held at Abu Dhabi's Fight Island on Sunday. Adesanya delivered a technical knockout in 3 minutes, 59 seconds of the second round.

The 31-year-old Nigeria-born New Zealander has extended his unbeaten run to 20-0, with 15 knockout wins. With nine successful results, Adesanya is on a joint-second longest winning streak in middleweight history.

After all the pre-fight hype, there was little on the show by Costa. Both started patiently waiting for chances to inflict damage. All the while, Adesanya constantly attacked Costa's knee. Adesanya smashed Costa, and in a combination move, floored him and followed him to the ground. The 'Last Stylebender' rained blows on Costa as the referee called off the fight.
The champion has already marked his next target.

"Jared Cannonier beats Robert Whittaker, he's next up," Adesanya said.

Blachowicz lifts light heavyweight title

No. 3 Jan Blachowicz, the Polish star, stunned No.1 ranked American Dominick Reyes to become the new light heavyweight champion. Blachowicz unleashed a flurry of punches on Reyes to pick the title in the second round. It was recently that vacated the belt to move to heavyweight category but Blachowicz called him out. "Jon Jones, where are you. This is the way we do it in Poland. I am waiting for you. This is nothing new for me. I am 37 year old. Soon I am going to be a father and I am only scared about that."

Royval makes Kara-France tap

American Brandon Royval threw everything at New Zealander Kai Kara-France and clinched the flyweight fight with a guillotine choke in the second round. Both fighters went after each other turning the encounter into a thriller.

"The fact that I'm out here, I'm actually making my dream come true, it's the craziest thing ever. I'm just happy to be here. I want people ranked above me, I want (Jussier) Formiga or Askar Askarov specifically," Royval said.


Vieira defeats Eubanks

Brazilian Ketlen Vieira grabbed a well-fought win over American Sijara Eubanks in the women's bantamweight fight. The 29-year-old pulled off a couple of takedowns, exchanged some big shots and did enough to take a unanimous verdict (29-28, 29-28 and 29-28).

"The fight was a lot harder than I thought. I didn't train for Sijara, obviously my opponent got changed a couple of weeks before. It was a very tough fight, she doesn't get rocked by anything. I'm ready to fight anyone. I prove that I can do it and that I have a lot to evolve and I can fight the best in the world," Vieira said.


Dawodu bests Tukhugov

Hakeem Dawodu from Canada clinched the featherweight division fight with a split-decision (28-29, 30-27 and 29-28) victory over Russian Zubaira Tukhugov. The bout was evenly matched across the three rounds with takedown attempts, hooks, jabs and punches. At the end, the 29-year-old took home the honours.

"I think he was smart, I think I threw something that made him feel funny and that's why he started running. Me and my coach, we are going to go back to the dressing room and we're going to work on catching these guys. I'm going to summon my inner Jamaican, my Usain Bolt, and I'm going to run these guys down and prevent them from running from me," Dawodu said.


Riddell prevails over da Silva

UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title (KT26166927.PNG)

New Zealander Brad Riddell came back strongly in the last two rounds to secure a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 29-28) result over Brazilian Alex da Silva. With this hard-fought lightweight category victory, the 28-year-old has extended his run to 9-1 in MMA.

"I have a goal to be in the top 10 very shortly. I'm talking like months away. This is a game of snakes and ladders and I'm taking those massive ladders to the top very quickly," Riddell said.

39-year-old Espino submits Hughes

UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title (KT26161927.PNG)

Spaniard Juan Espino, just two weeks shy of his 40th birthday, submitted 32-year-old American Jeff Hughes with an arm triangle choke in the opening round of the heavyweight bout. Espino 'El Guapo' had last fought in November 2018 and improved his MMA record to 10 wins.

"It's been a long time outside of the cage. But I never lost motivation. I'm a world champion in grappling," Espino said after his 3 minutes, 48 seconds eighth career victory through submission.

"This is my perfect submission."


 Klein delivers knockout punch

UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title (KT26162927.PNG)

Ludovit Klein, the UFC debutant from Slovakia, knocked out New Zealander Shane Young in just 1 minute, 16 seconds of the featherweight division bout. The 25-year-old blazed to 16 finishes out of 17 bouts.
"It's amazing, this is everything for me, my dream to be the first Slovakian to go in the UFC and I am here now. This is a big moment for my country and me," Klein said. "This is always my style, the high kick and demolishing my opponent," he said about the winning move.


Matthews tops veteran Sanchez

UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title (KT26163927.PNG)

Jake Matthews landed massive blows on veteran Diego Sanchez to win via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26 and 30-26) in the welterweight fight. The 26-year-old Australian kept the 38-year-old on the ground and left him busted open at the end of three rounds.

"That last bit of ground and pound, I was this close to apologizing to him. I've watched him since I was 11 years old. Between him and BJ Penn, they're two of my all-time favorites. I didn't let it get to my head before the fight, but now it's going to sink in and it's crazy being able to beat a guy like that."


Knight makes promising debut

UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title (KT26164927.PNG)

American William Knight, on his UFC debut, dominated Russian star Aleksa Camur to win by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 and 30-27) in the light heavyweight encounter. With the result, the 32-year-old extended his MMA record to 10-1.

"It's been crazy, I'm just jumping through hurdles, loops and holes and God knows what. It's been crazy, there's times I felt defeated and my team brought me back to life. So, I am happy."


Newcomer Marques thumps Ibragimov

UFC 253: Adesanya knocks out Costa to retain middleweight title (KT26165927.PNG)

In the light heavyweight division tie, Danilo Marques, the 34-year-old UFC debutant from Brazil, defeated 25-year-old Russian Khadis Ibragimov via a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 30-27) after three rounds. It was Marques first bout since February 2018 and showed enough skills to stay in the UFC.

"I am so happy and that's what matters to me right now. I have a long and hard way to still offer you. For me, this division is hard because it has so many good fighters," Marques said.



Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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